Eight years ago, when teaching ESL here in Taiwan, I had a pretty good response from the kids with both text-based (e.g. Zork) and city-building games (e.g. SimCity). However, both experiments were cut short due to lack of support by the administration. Parents think that games are a waste of time, when in fact they can be a great way to wrap your learning objectives in an attractive package for kids. Since administrators have to bend to the will of parents, especially in the private schools I worked at, education becomes quite a tedious thing for both teachers and students. It’s a shame.
This lack of support for new approaches to education was a major contributing factor in my career shift to writing, in addition to my lack of interest in the various career paths available to expat teachers , i.e., moving into sales (textbooks or schools), opening your own school, moving up to post-secondary education or returning home with my tail between my legs.