Educational Winner’s Wheel

We spent Monday playing arcade games at Chuck E Cheese winning tickets and prizes. And taking notes about the mechanics and rules of a variety of games. Each student is to document the game play with photos and video and then describe the mechanics and rules. Also the students are to suggest possible mechanic and rule changes to make the game an educational game.

I chose the Winners Wheel which was one of the slot games in which you time your token to cross a moving plank into the winners slot. Below is a video of the game, sadly I kept missing the planks!

Once you do cross the plank into the winners slot, a ball pops out onto a track making a quick circle around the wheel and falling in. On the wheel are nine holes into which the ball may drop which corresponds to a ticket reward worth 6-26 tickets or the bonus slot which is defined on the display above (50 tickets when I played).

I did notice that the hole for the bonus prize had a raised lip around the edge, making the likelihood that the ball would drop there practically zero. The wheel also appeared to not be spinning on a level surface as it did not just move to the outside edge and stay there as you would expect with centripetal force from the wheel spinning. The ball would roll across the middle from likely high to low spots of the angled wheel surface. I couldn’t tell if the lower surface was near lower ticket amounts but it wouldn’t surprise me.

To apply some educational rules to the Winner’s Wheel you could have quiz questions allow a player to win tokens, which are then an opportunity to play. But that’s kind of an easy way out. I think it might be interesting to change the mechanics of the plank size based on a math game, particularly fractions and fraction addition. A player could ‘win’ a larger plank based on their ability to add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide fractions correctly.

So for example the student starts with by default a plank that’s a 1/4 inch wide. They select at random another piece of plank they can add between 1/4 inch wide to 1 1/4 inch wide. A student selects a 2/3 inch piece of plank. The student must add 1/4 and 2/3 correctly to get the wider plank, which in turn would make it easier for the student to get the token across to the winner’s slot.

9 thoughts on “Educational Winner’s Wheel

  1. Looks hard enough without the rigged surface. I like the mod though, it’s a nice incentive to learn fractions.

  2. I didnt give myself a chance to play this game because i’m not a big fan of games where you have to aim you token to achieve an outcome, you wind using a bunch of tokens in hopes to get a few tickets. Your post did give good ideas on how to modify mechanics and/or turn games into educational lesson, the one issue i have is that a lot of games tend to give way to math lessons for some reason…

  3. I didn’t like the game, but i liked your modification even though it seems easy, but still for younger kids this is a good game.. Good post…

  4. Pingback: Find Fun in Educational Games | Education Arcade

  5. I appreciate how you relate the game to adding fractions. Reading this post game me a better idea about my next assignment, thanks.

  6. This game is very similar to the game where you have to add the token to the dump trucks as the same lever goes back and forth, game is hard to achieve success but it can be fun. After you fill up the dump truck it then unloads and thats pretty much the jack pot, i spent about 10$ on that game and my dump truck never unloaded. 🙁

  7. It’s great how you picked the game a part Professor. Your explanation was quite sharp. I need a mind like yours.

  8. I think its great to fuse mathematics with this game and probabilities and outcomes and that its still usable for children to learn something and have fun at the same time.

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