Text adventures have a variety of uses in education, within a range of subjects and at a range of levels. The Quest text adventure engine is free and open source.
Perhaps the most obvious use of Quest is within ICT/Computing. Quest provides a gentle introduction to programming concepts - variables, functions, loops, expressions, objects, etc. - and the visual editor means that students don't need to remember commands or syntax.
Being text-based means that students can create complete games without needing to spend time creating graphics.
The Simple Mode in the Quest Editor strips the editor down to the bare essentials so that even young students can get started creating their own games.
Playing text adventure games is an interesting alternative to reading a static book - encouraging students to engage more and understand what they have read.
Creating text adventure games is a way of exploring creative writing, and it's easy to get started.
Playing or creating games in another language - a great way to combine reading and writing in another tongue. Quest currently supports English, French, Spanish, German and Dutch, and it is straightforward to translate into other languages.
If you're using Quest in education, I'd love to hear your experiences - please do get in touch!
Gideon Williams has uploaded some Quest helpsheets which can be used in the classroom.
Andy Stratton has written a downloadable Quest tutorial (MS Word .docx format). Originally used for a workshop at Games Britannia.
The Education blog category has more details on the uses of Quest in Education.
There is an Education forum for discussing Quest and getting in touch with other users.
If you're thinking of using Quest in the classroom, please let me know. I'm happy to give you all the help you need.
Would you like to be able to set up your own mini text adventure site just for your students? If so, please sign up for our new site, ActiveLit.
We are setting up a new site which will allow you to create your own student area.
Students will be able to play from a selection of games chosen by you, and create and share games privately among the group.
Interested? Please take a look at ActiveLit.