GCU takes educational game into schools

26 May 2015

GCU graduates with their game, Marion's Journey.

GCU graduates with their game, Marion's Journey.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is taking digital games into schools to help children learn about societal issues.

Over the coming weeks, schoolchildren from St Oswold’s (May 28) and Oakgrove primaries (June 3), and Holyrood Secondary (June 1), will play test two games created in association with Gathering the Voices Association (GtVA) last year.

GtVA has been gathering the oral testimonies of men and women who sought refuge in Scotland to escape the racism of Nazi-dominated Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Most, but not all, were Jewish.

One of the games developed is based on the story of a political prisoner during the Second World War, Marion Camrass, and was created by GCU graduates Marc Celland, Emily Crosbie, Jodi Jennings and Robert McDougall, who wanted to make the game entertaining and educational, as well as accessible to both schoolchildren and adults alike.

The other game, Arrival, was the winning game from the GtVA Game Jam in 2013. It is an adventure game for iOS that focuses on a post-war Jewish settler in Glasgow.

The play testing is being funded via a grant from the Sense Over Sectarian Project. Final-year students within the Department of Computer, Communications & Interactive Systems will carry out the play tests and recommend and implement improvements. If the games prove effective, they will go into schools to support the curriculum in relevant subjects, and will also go alongside the mobile exhibition from the GtVA project.

David Moffat, Lecturer, Digital Design Technologies, said: “We've been well supported by the Sense Over Sectarianism Project and Glasgow City Council, who are behind the development and play testing of the Marion's Journey game.

“We are grateful for their support and look forward to seeing the games played in schools in the Glasgow area, to help children understand the difficult issues they cover.”

Angela Shapiro, Senior Lecturer, School of Engineering and Built Environment, and member of GtVA, said: “The Gathering the Voices Association is delighted to be continuing its collaboration with staff and students from GCU.”