Created By: DBAce9Aura on September 27, 2010 Last Edited By: DBAce9Aura on September 27, 2010
Troped

Unconventional Learning Experience

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Definitely heard this one a million times. Sorta Needs a Better Description. It Needs More Examples. Subjective enough to require a Troper Tales tab. Rolling Updates.

The show you're watching is not made for educational purposes, nor is it a total Aesop magnet. It most certainly isn't full of And Knowing Is Half the Battle sequences at the end of each episode. But in spite of all that, you start inspecting the series in depth and in full detail and come to the conclusion that it's most definitely not the negative influence that the critics and folks keep on claiming it to be. Thanks to the various wikis and fansites that show up all over the internet, this trope has grown more and more persistent, to a point where small bits of Genius Bonus are uncovered. Keep in mind that series that invoke this do have their fair share of Aesops, but the educational value probably isn't going to come from them.

Examples

Comics

Live-Action TV
  • NCIS is definitively not educational, but between all the movie references that Di Nozzo brings up from nowhere and how he gets weird plans from them (and Abby, of course), people can learn a lot about movie classics just by watching the series.
  • Mythbusters

Meta
  • According to TIME magazine, Steven Johnson argues that SimCity taught his nephew about taxation issues, and that even a segment of one The Legend of Zelda game had enough detail to "bury the canard" that it is passive entertainment. That and the idea of The Simpsons complicating the Sitcom genre, among other things.
  • Porn, if you're learning to draw anatomy.
  • Watching/reading works in foreign languages
  • Some people say that Popular Culture is itself an education, one we receive subconsciously through being immersed in pop-culture. (there's more to it, like concepts of emotional education and such, but you get the gist)

Tabletop Game
  • Dungeons & Dragons can easily be considered as a long arithmetic problem that is oddly enough personified as a fantasy adventure.
    • In fact, Tabletop RPG games in general can be classed as such as well.
  • Even Plugged In admitted that the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG had the educational benefit of helping kids practice math.
    • There are also many cases in which parents report that the Pokemon TCG taught their children basic math skills as well.

Theater

Video Games
  • You can learn a lot about China's Three Kingdoms Period from Dynasty Warriors, and a lot about the Sengoku Era of Japan from Samurai Warriors... just as long as you remember to take it all with a grain of salt. If nothing else, you might get interested enough to look some of the characters up, just to see how much they were changed - and better yet, how much of the awesome, far-out stuff was actually REAL!
  • The Assassin's Creed series fit this nicely. While a lot of it is fictional, the people and places (besides the protaganists) are very very real.
  • Both Age of Empires and Civilization can arguably count as a more interesting way of learning about history.
  • Sid Meierís Pirates! certainly taught a lot of people the geography of the Caribbean.
  • There are many gamers out there that claim RP Gs taught them how to read, or helped learn a second language.
  • Medal of Honor and other First-Person Shooters set in World War II can teach younger players about (though not that accurate at most cases) American history.

Western Animation
  • Things that can be learned from Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Martial Arts
    • Eastern Philosophy/Metaphysics
    • Traditional Chinese Characters
    • A total solar eclipse lasts around 8 minutes.
  • There was a story of a boy who saved his friend from choking by using the Heimlich Maneuver, which he learned from The Simpsons.
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • September 23, 2010
    Starry-Eyed
  • September 23, 2010
    Sweet Madness
    • There are many gamers out there that claim RP Gs taught them how to read, or helped learn a second language.

  • September 23, 2010
    neoYTPism
    According to TIME magazine, Steven Johnson argues that Sim City taught his nephew about taxation issues, and that even a segment of one The Legend Of Zelda game had enough detail to "bury the canard" that it is passive entertainment.

    EDIT: That and the idea of The Simpsons complicating the sitcom genre. Oh, and references to a bunch of other works of entertainment I'm not exactly familiar with. o.o
  • September 24, 2010
    Wexman
    Like the concept, not sure if Civilization is that historical though... lol, but yeah I think it exists, not sure how common it is though, or if there's a clear distinction between Edumacational and Educational, you might run into some shows or series which border the two if there isn't a clear line.
  • September 24, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    @Wexman: Well, for some reason, I know this is commonplace.
  • September 24, 2010
    Wexman
    @DB Ace 9 Aura: I believe it... I just can't think of a whole bunch of examples, but i do think it exists. I just think it needs a more objective way of distinguishing it from educational. Like you yourself said; Needs A Better Description.

    Are you doing Rolling Updates of the description or do you want others to edit it too?
  • September 24, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    @Wexmen: Yeah, I usually do Rolling Updates on this stuff. Other people are free to do so as well when I'm unavailable.
  • September 24, 2010
    SirQuady
    There's a theory one of my professors mentioned recently that Popular Culture is itself an education, one we recieve subconciously through being immersed in pop-culture. (there's more to it, like concepts of emotional education and such, but you get the gist)
  • September 25, 2010
    BlackDragon
    You can learn a lot about China's Three Kingdoms Period from Dynasty Warriors, and a lot about the Sengoku Era of Japan from Samurai Warriors... just as long as you remember to take it all with a grain of salt. If nothing else, you might get interested enough to look some of the characters up, just to see how much they were changed - and better yet, how much of the awesome, far-out stuff was actually REAL!
  • September 25, 2010
    Wexman
    Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed 2 fit this nicely. While a lot of it is fictional, the people and places (besides the protaganists) are very very real.
  • September 25, 2010
    Stratadrake
    I have no idea what sort of Tropemanteau the title is supposed to be. Needing a better one.
  • September 25, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    @Stratadrake: The original title was What Do You Mean It's Not Educational, but due to the snowclone criticism regarding the What Do You Mean It's Not X tropes, it had to change.
  • September 25, 2010
    dotchan
    This so needs a Troper Tales page! Pacman taught me everything I needed to know about inequalities. Our Super Awesome Math Teacher explained "greater than" and "less than" thusly: imagine the < and > symbols to be Pacman's mouth. Pacman likes to eat the greater number. Et voila!
  • September 25, 2010
    Stratadrake
    @DB Ace 9 Ara: Okay, but that still doesn't explain the logic of the current working title. My mind just refuses to parse "edumacational", so I'm lost.
  • September 25, 2010
    SilentReverence
    This title definitively is weird. I read it as something like Education + Mc Something / Mc Anthony / Apple. I even thought it had been a typpo and the real title was Eduvacational!

    Sincerely think the old name was better.

    Beyond that and looking for examples, does NCIS count? I mean, it definitively is not "educational", but between all the movie references that Di Nozzo brings up from nowhere and how he gets weird plans from them (and Abby, of course), I learn a lot about movie classics just by watching the series.

  • September 25, 2010
    Tannhaeuser
    Sid Meiers Pirates certainly taught a lot of people the geography of the Caribbean.
  • September 25, 2010
    KawaiiMelon
    • There are many cases in which parents report that the Pokemon TCG taught their children basic math skills.
  • September 26, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    @Everybody: I just looked up Edumacational and it's defined by the Urban Dictionary as "an unintelligent way of saying educational", as used in The Simpsons.
  • September 26, 2010
    Stratadrake
    @DB: So it's a slang term? Some people don't get street lingo. If Webster doesn't know what it is, you'd better take the time to explain it.
  • September 26, 2010
    MegTheMaggot
  • September 26, 2010
    DorianMode
    Things learned from Avatar The Last Airbender:
    • Martial Arts
    • Eastern Philosophy/Metaphysics
    • Traditional Chinese Characters
    • A total solar eclipse lasts around 8 minutes.
  • September 26, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    There was a story of a boy who saved his friend from choking by using the Heimlich Manouver, which he learned from The Simpsons.
  • September 26, 2010
    Umptyscope
    Edutainment.
  • September 26, 2010
    Prfnoff
    This is too subjective, at least as the example list is shaping up. Perhaps examples should have narrower criteria for inclusion.
  • September 27, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    @Umptyscope: Edutainment is entertainment intentionally made for educational purposes.

    @Prfnoff: I already mentioned that this one's gonna require a Troper Tales tab. For the time being, examples are gonna have to be listed on the main page until this thing is launched.
  • September 27, 2010
    KawaiiMelon
  • September 27, 2010
    DBAce9Aura
    Is thing ready for launch yet?
  • September 27, 2010
    KawaiiMelon
    @DB Ace 9 Aura I'd say so.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ci3uuewrb20458iirramunbb