Since Dimenxian doesn't actually instruct students on coordinate planes, it would work best as practice and reinforcement after lessons about graphing on the x-axis and y-axis. It will help students solidify their knowledge of how the coordinate system works by forcing them to locate specific locations, fit points to a line, and other algebraic tasks. Follow it up with a journey into Minecraft, which actually uses a x,y,z coordinate system. Students can venture around the world, find places of interest and their coordinates, and then create treasure maps/hunts for other students.Continue reading Show less
Dimenxian is a first-person shooter set on an island besieged by a deadly virus. Students battle the virus in four missions that build students' basic algebra skills. The missions' primary focus is the coordinate plane. Students must use coordinates, the x-axis and y-axis, and graphing to locate and retrieve important items on the island. Bad guys, the Sentinels, add some suspense by occasionally trying to thwart students' progress, and must be stunned until they leave. Once a mission is completed, students get feedback on how they did. It's a bare-bones, game-based wrapper for what amounts to some light practice using coordinate planes.
Dimenxian does a good job of immersing students in the coordinate system, having them locate specific points and use the system in other ways during play. However, it's a short experience. It also shows its age in visual quality, presentation, and a lack of interesting things to do in-game. It's likely to have some initial novelty -- especially for students who don't play games often -- but it might wear out its welcome quickly. All of this combined with the relatively hefty price tag makes it hard to recommend for a classroom.
Key Standards Supported
Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate).
Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.
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