Educational Games Inspired by Museums

This semester we’re working with the
Indiana State Museum and we are working with a site that’s one of the Indiana
state historic sites at the indiana State Museum. It’s Angel Mounds. We are
making an iPad game for fourth graders based on their social studies standards
about the Middle Mississippian Indians who lived in indiana region about a
thousand years ago. It was a huge community running from St. Louis with a
huge site of Cahokia down to the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and to the Arkansas River Valley. The first thing that we had to work out was
kind of what we wanted to do with the game, what the orientation was going to
be on the iPad even, and a lot of it was like, okay are we going to have a map
that has icons across the top? Are we going to have a map that has icons
down the side? Are we going to have an inventory? Are we gonna have this?
Are we going to have that? The things that the culture produced, the physical
embodiment of things that they left behind like pottery, building structures,
artifacts, like art, jewelry. Video games as like educational tools is still
something that’s very new and a lot of people still don’t understand or accept
it yet and so I think that the Indiana State Museum is on board with this is
really significant because it shows that more people are starting to recognize
that video games are actually really good at teaching. It goes without
saying that the students will learn by doing, by reflecting on what they’re
doing, they will get better at it. In my past experience, I found that students
often have a myopic vision of what even higher education is for based on their
major. They get into a very, very restricted mindset and to me that’s not
really what higher education is about. What we want to do is have students
understand how to work together how to collaborate.
Being a software developer is all about taking those theoretical ideas and
translateingthem into real results and I’m going to graduate with that
experience. I’ll have that finished product.

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