Math Gran Prix

Math Gran Prix (released as Maths Grand Prix in Europe) is a 1982 educational video game developed and published by Atari for the Atari 2600.[1] Along with Word Zapper, the game was one of earliest educational games released for the platform.[2]

Math Gran Prix
Math Gran Prix cartridge cover.jpg
Cover art for Atari 2600 cartridge
Developer(s)Atari
Publisher(s)Atari
Platform(s)Atari 2600
Release
Genre(s)Educational
Mode(s)Single-player, two-player

DevelopmentEdit

The game was programmed by Suki Lee, one of the earliest female games developers.[3] Lee went on to work on Obelix, also for the Atari 2600.[4] The cover art for the game was drawn by Warren Chang.[5]

GameplayEdit

The player must advance a car through a Grand Prix race by answering mathematics questions, with 9 variations of play.[6] Random bonuses may pop up during play. Both two- and single-player gaming against the computer is possible, with the computer's calculation speed slowed artificially compared to its normal speed of calculation in single-player mode.[1] Questions included addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.[2] The game is aimed at 7-to-10 year old children.[7]

ReceptionEdit

In a January 1983, review the British computer games magazine TV Gamer described the game as "certainly a lot more entertaining than its predecessor, Basic Maths".[6] A review in the January 1983 edition of Tilt magazine, a French video games magazine, gave the game 2/6 for graphics and 4/6 for interest, saying that the game might even be of interest to adults.[1]

Reviewing the game in 2017 in the book The A-Z of Atari 2600 Games: Volume 2, Kieren Hawken described the game as "...nothing more than a curio. An ugly and very unexciting curio at that!" and gave the game 3/10 overall.[8]

Menno Deen, in a PhD thesis for the Eindhoven University of Technology, cited Math Gran Prix as "an example of the restrictive nature of early edutainment titles of the 80s", stating that the game's lack of player autonomy does not impart motivation to learn. He furthermore stated that Math Gran Prix and other mathematics edutainment games: "adopt the instructional model of the explainer and instructor, focusing on skill mastery and correct performances" rather than facilitating experimentation or exploration, the latter two of which he argued are more conducive to learning.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Maths Grand Prix". Tilt (in French). No. 3. January 1983. p. 29. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Backwards Compatible Edutainment". ABC. 11 May 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Atari 2600: Math Gran Prix". Atari Computer Museum. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Suki Lee". Moby Games. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  5. ^ Lapetino, Tim (2016). Art Of Atari. Dynamite Entertainment. pp. 162–163, 268. ISBN 9781524101060. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Math Gran Prix". TV Gamer. January 1983. p. 28. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  7. ^ Rubin, Zick; McNeil, Elton B. (1987). Psychology: Being Human : Brief/update. Harper & Row. p. 144. ISBN 9780060456511. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  8. ^ Hawken, Kieren (2017). The A-Z of Atari 2600 Games: Volume 2. 9781785387630. ISBN 978-1785387630. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  9. ^ Deen, Menno (January 2015). G.A.M.E. Games Autonomy Motivation & Education: How autonomy-supportive game design may improve motivation to learn (PDF) (Thesis). Eindhoven University of Technology. doi:10.13140/2.1.3945.0402. ISBN 978-9038637761 – via ResearchGate.

External linksEdit