via Ben Stokes from Games For Change comes a pointer to an article from Plenty Magazine called "Just Push Play." It is about an eco-themed video game that is helping the PlayStation generation understand global warming.
Developed to teach Australian and U.K. students about environmental issues, Adventure Ecology is one example of a growing field of “serious” video games that raise awareness about issues like poverty and international strife, and help players assess strategies for solving them.
Reading the Teacher's section and Ben's analysis:
It’s tough to teach interdependencies using linear media like books,” Stokes says. “But games, by their nature, are interactive systems. Our choices have consequences, like they do in real life.”
This is definitely one computer game that I'll allow my kids to play and some of it is available free on the web.
Here's a description of the game play:
Students ages nine and up embark on virtual missions instead of listening to rote lesson plans. Before starting the game, each player takes a test that assesses her learning style; the game is then tailored to her strengths (visual learners encounter more graphics, while wordsmiths get scrolling text). Activities may include preventing deforestation, scoping out alternative fuel strategies, or convincing a clothing company to sell eco-friendly duds. As they play, gamers take quizzes to demonstrate their grasp of important concepts, accumulating points that let them take on new missions with bigger challenges.