RPG's or other suitable online games for the Junior High Classroom- Ideas????

hi
I haven't been around for a while but I do check in a read from time to time and I respect what you are all doing. Right now I need your help. I am trying to find an online application that will engage 6th, 7th and 8th graders for a technology elective. They already know most of the productivity tools and they are not into scratch or Alice so I am looking for an RPG or some other idea ...that have educational value. It needs to be online not software based because the computers hard drives are relatively small can't handle more software installations.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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My 4-6th graders (gifted) are in love with Atmospir, it's a video game developer but it has to be downloaded. You might check into these also:

Travian http://travian.com
Tribal Wars http://www.tribalwars.net/
Sim City 4 http://simcity.ea.com/play/simcity_classic.php
Others
Conqueror

Games Maker download

Let me know if you find one, I haven't done much with any of these. One of the problems I have is accountability and assessment--how do you encourage the kids to dig deep and not give up when things get hard or complicated? (I have this problem with Scratch and Alice). Search here for games in the classroom, I think there was a long discussion on good free games.
Dear Nancy and Mandy thanks for the quick replies. Nancy I will check out some of those links and here is one I stumbled on this afternoon Cadeuceus ... This is also an interesting site about some games that have been developed...you can read about them here which is very helpful but it takes some web searching to then find the games.
I agree it is sometimes hard to get the kids to dig deep. We are thinking to set specific goals or levels of accomplishment and maybe have them work in teams. A lot depends on what we choose... Where is that discussion you mention?

Mandy I would love to use Second Life but Jr High students are not old enough- I believe , unless things have changed you have to be over 18 although there is a teen island for High School students... I really like your idea though to discuss virtual tourism.
Check here or here.
Here's an article in the Toronto Star by Raju Mudhar featuring an interview he did with me in which I talk about this very subject, albeit from the perspective of music education and video games:

Games Mould Future Musicians, Oct. 28, 2008

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