Thursday, January 27, 2011

2013 EDU: A model for educational games?

Search for the Sy: model for educational games?

Watch on YouTube
The search for the SY caught my attention.
for several reasons.
  • It is a game of exploration and discovery.
  • It is designed to allow collaborative exploration.
  • It displays a backstory, a clear story line, and some interaction with characters. 
  • It leads the player to illustrate the work of an anthropologist or archaeologist.
These features look like aspects one would want as a basis for educational games.
First off, it is interesting.  Read these comments: 
Division Street / Divided Path:
"The Search for the Sy opened recently at IBM Exhibition C. It's an interesting build, both for its own sake and for its connection to recent discussions on the nature and future of Second Life."

Honour's Post Menopausal View: Search results for the sy:
"Forgive me if I have to do a little victory dance here. I've mentioned before how awful I am at hunts and quests but having gotten a tour of The Search for the Sy I felt compelled to go back and attempt to carry it through."

Search for the Sy « Ahuva’s Blog: "In-Land Search for the Sy is one of the current exhibits at the IBM Exhibition Space in SL. It is among the most interesting and creative exhibits/builds I have seen in SL. It is beautiful."
Second, it illustrates the work of an anthropologist or archaeologist

In fact, Annabelle Fanshaw, the main creator of the game, had input from a professor of anthropology as she wrote the backstory.    More generally, most aspects science can be cast as stories of exploration and discovery, at least at the introductory level.  It is this kind of thing that leads me to imagine the creation of educational games based on real scientific investigations.

Virtual worlds give experience, the web only gives information
Annabelle recently gave me a tour of the game--behind the scenes.  I had originally intended to play at least though the opening part of the game as a player, so I could report on the experience.    But I haven't had the time to do more than I reported in the links above. And I don't think I am very good at these games anyway.

So when Annabelle indicated that the game would close in February, I decided to get the tour for the close..  Annabelle told me that she plans to open the build up for visitors about the beginning of February.  Visitors will be able to tour the build and see everything without having to solve the puzzles.

I hope Annabelle does other story games like this one.  It still reminds me of Myst.
  • What do we do in Virtual Worlds? 
  • Search on page with Google Chrome: Ctrl+f, search bar upper right 
  • Google search this blog, column on right
  • or put at the end of the search terms
  • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
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  1. Thanks for the great post! My team- Layton Destiny, Vicki Brandenburg and I enjoyed the process of making this game/sim, and are already planning our next one. This one closes on Feb. 12th.

  2. Let me know when the next one is ready to open so I can tell my readers about it. -- TKR


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