The first game, Chrono Scouts focuses on historical narrative, challenging students to build coherent narratives about the causes of WWI out of disparate historical events. The game surfaces the influence of bias and perspective in historical writing and is played by small teams of cooperating students. The game is accompanied by an online video that plays for the entire class and moderates gameplay.
The second game, Fact Fuse, focuses on argumentation skills, prompting students to articulate the relationships between historical actors and events, and make arguments to back up their historical claims. It is played competitively between students in groups.
The games may be purchased as a professionally printed set online here, or are available for teachers to print for free use in their classrooms here. They are accompanied by a teachers guide and classroom play suggestions.
As the PI on the project, I worked with a team of game designers at the lab to develop and iterate the underlying mechanics so that play would align with the desired learning goals. The team also included middle school teachers, students, and historical content experts.
The game is currently available online and has been tested in several classrooms as part of our seed grant from Microsoft Research. The Lab is currently seeking follow-on funding to build content modules for the American Revolution and other conflicts based on the underlying mechanics. We are also seeking support for a digitally enhanced version of the games.