Middle schoolers tackle climate change in a new alternate reality game – UChicago News

During game days, the three science classes were abuzz with activity as students solved puzzles, created code and composed songs. “There was a lot of energy,” said Del Campo. 

After three weeks, the students had completed nearly 2,500 quests while a running leaderboard encouraged friendly competition. 

To keep things even more interesting, villains called the Veilers crashed the game’s finale—a live-streamed event with all three schools. Players made decisions in real time to successfully save our future. 

New skill unlocked

Fourcast Lab co-directors Jagoda and Coleman believe games are a powerful educational tool. 

“Games speak to many different kinds of learners,” said Jagoda. “Some people will listen to a lecture and just their brains will turn off. But with a game, you have text, you have images, you have sound, you have animation, you have different forms of decision-making.” 

For Coleman, games can get us out of our comfort zones. “Games, especially the intersection of games and performance, seem to create a space where people can shift out of entrenched ideas,” said Coleman, who also teaches theater and performance at UChicago. 

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