Common Sense Review
Updated November 2014

Possible Worlds: Robo Riot

Battling robots clear up misconceptions about heredity
This module is part of the Game Possible Worlds.
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating
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  • Robots serve as metaphors for genetics.
  • Recycle robots into random generations.
  • Learn a robot's weakness to decide which traits will defeat it.
  • Explore a world where robots manage everything.
  • Robots battle to see whose traits come out on top!
Caryn Swark
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

In Robo Riot, kids create robots with different traits and have them battle other robots that are creating havoc in the city. On its own, Robo Rio uses robots as a metaphor for genetic concepts, offering an effective way to review concepts of heredity and to clear up misconceptions at the end of a unit on heredity. The game takes on two main misconceptions: that dominant traits are better, and that randomness is relative. 

Like all Possible Worlds games, the game comes with extensive support materials that teachers can use to plan an entire unit of study. Teachers looking for cross-curricular connections could have students design their own robots, or write about robots for language arts. The game also provides plenty of opportunities for class discussions about metaphor. Teachers might encourage students to think of other metaphors that would help explain genetics to students who find the concept confusing.

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