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Serious Learning Games
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

Computer games have wide acceptance among younger learners for their challenging design but also for the social interactions they generate (especially web based games). Research showed that games do develop mental abilities and skills such as strategy, mental calculation and decision making but the acquisition of deep knowledge is less well understood. Serious games are specifically designed to change behaviors and impart knowledge and are widely used with adults in training situations, such as emergency preparedness, training for leadership and even citizenship. The use of serious games with an younger audience has been much less explored, though.The objective of the project SELEAG is to evaluate the use of Serious Games for learning history, culture and social relations. An extensible, online, multi-language, multi-player, collaborative and social game platform for sharing and acquiring knowledge of the history of European regions will be developed. Initially 3 different but interrelated geographical scenarios will be used so that students/players will be involved in a play that replicates the evolution of these European places over the last 600 years in social, cultural, economic, resources, military aspects. Students will assume roles of characters that have had relevant positions in that evolution.A methodology will be developed to evaluate the multidisciplinary learning (history, geography, economics, etc.), social awareness and changes in attitudes towards learning and towards an European identity. The assessment will take place in many European countries with children aged 11-16 and will determine the value of serious games for this age group and context. The game can later be easily extended to other countries and regions due to its web based delivery.
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