A new downloadable classroom activity is now available. The activity utilizes the puzzle game, Papers, Please. The activities provided range from Novice to Advanced and utilize a variety of important language and social functions such as identifying context clues to understand a narrative, conversing with NPC’s, and making morally-charged decisions. The game is available in English, Italian, polish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, French, German, and Spanish. Papers, Please is available on Steam (PC/Mac/Linux) for $9.99, iPad (iOS) for $7.99, and PS Vita (PlayStation Store) for $9.99.
Papers, Please is set in the fictional country Arstotzka in 1982. In the game, players act as immigration inspector for a contested border. The game continually presents players with new moral choices, and allows them to then explore the impacts of each choice. Note, however, that the game does contain non-sexual nudity and graphic, pixelated violence. Therefore, we feel that it may be better suited to high school age students. Overall, game-play takes at least four hours.
We encourage you to check out the new activities and let us know what you think!
-The Games2Teach Team
A new publication has been added to the Publications page. “ARIS in the Classroom” is a teacher resource designed to provide guidance on the integration and implementation of ARIS in the classroom.
ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling Engine) is an open-source platform used to create and play mobile place-based games. The platform is user-friendly with features such as geo-tagged locations, location locks, and conversations. While it is easy to use, its ability to create complex game interactions gives ARIS the potential to facilitate game-enhanced learning in any classroom.
The provided document specifically provides background on the integration of digital games in the language classroom, frameworks for classroom integration of ARIS, and example activities using ARIS.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go check it out and get building!
-The Games2Teach Team
There is a new classroom activity now available for download: Quandary for the Language Classroom. This resource is a set of intermediate-level activities surrounding the game Quandary.
The game involves decision-making surrounding a series of moral and social dilemmas. Learners must solve in-game issues by collaborating and interacting with the game characters, and try to keep peace within the futuristic society of the Planet Braxos. Quandary is a free game that can be played in-browser on the web, on iPads, and on Android tablets. Even more thrilling, however, is the number of languages it supports. If your device is set to the target language, then the game can be played in English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
The activities we’ve created utilize a variety of modes to augment typical game play. Learners will not only play through the game, but they will also be asked to analyze the language being used, collaborate with peers, and think critically about their own community.
Go check out the new classroom activity for yourself!
-The Games2Teach Team
iCivics is an organization whose governing board includes retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who founded iCivics in 2009. Their website (www.icivics.org) disseminates curriculum targeted primarily at middle and high school students. The curriculum is adjustable, ranging from full units, to print-and-go lesson plans, to game guides with instructions and pre- and post-game discussion questions and activities. The curriculum is centered around digital games in which students take on a role within or dealing with the U.S. government. The games (there are 19 of them at present) are all designed to be playable in a 45-minute class period, either alone, or in small groups, or as a whole class. Most materials are free, but teachers must register for a free account for curriculum materials. Some print materials are for sale.
One of the games, Do I Have a Right?, deals with constitutional law, specifically the amendments. Players run a law firm, with different lawyers who specialize in different areas of constitutional law, based on the amendments. Players have seven days to establish the new law firm by meeting potential clients, determining if they have a case, and if so matching them with a lawyer who has expertise in that particular amendment. Knowing the amendments by number is tremendously helpful in this game, because it is fast-paced as more potential clients come in and must be screened and matched with an appropriate lawyer. If learners don’t know the amendments when they start playing, they will have a much better understanding by the end of the game.
Do I Have a Right? is newly available in Spanish as well as English, and an available (with registration) extension pack includes English learner supports. The game can also be played on mobile devices.
All of the games and accompanying curricula on the site are a fantastic resource for social studies teachers. Since Do I Have a Right? is also available in Spanish and the extension pack includes supports for English learners, it is also a wonderful resource for Spanish and ELL teachers. Informally, students can be encouraged to play the game during choice time; more formally, and entire instructional unit can be planned around game play. Teachers who are interested in incorporating digital game playing in their instruction in an intentional, strategic would do well to start with the materials on iCivics; they are classroom-ready and can serve as a template for similar teacher-created units on other topics.
This organization is the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur Award and serves over 150,000 “teacher-users.” Its games’ adaptability, curriculum supports, and reputable team all make it a model resource for using games for classroom learning.