Developing a VGBL-based “Intro to the Classical Humanities” course & Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Discovery Tour Mode.

Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Discovery Tour, Game-Based Learning, Intro to the Classical Humanities, Microsoft, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Uncategorized, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

The Discovery Tour Mode released today for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a fantastic addition to an already excellent game. I am very excited about its release, particularly because I am currently developing a video game-based learning / digital media learning “Intro to the Classical Humanities” course with my colleague in the Classics program, Dr. Joan Hart-Hasler.

I studied Classics for most of my life (12 years of Latin coursework, 10 years of Greek). I fell in love with the Greco-Roman civilization by the time I was 14. I was very impressed with the re-construction of Hellenistic Alexandria in Assassin’s Creed Origins, its history, monuments, everyday life and even the use of Koine Greek by non-playable characters (NPC). The lexicon and pronunciation of the ancient common language of the Greek empire has been carefully, effectively and convincingly re-constructed. Now, I cannot wait to explore their tour of Classical Greece and re-construction of the language, life and culture, and explore its pedagogical uses in our college course. “Intro to the Classical Humanities’ will be taught in English, as a large first-year experience course. Besides video game-based learning, I plan to include graphic novels and other digital media. I hope to present it to the undergraduate course committee sometime this fall, and teach it next spring.

What is most exciting about the inclusion of the Discovery Tour, in my opinion, is that it makes digital game-based learning/quest-based learning accessible to high-school and, in some cases, even middle school students. In fact, it is a “pacific” mode, devoid of violence.

Kudos Ubisoft & merci Maxime Durand & team!


https://www.polygon.com/reviews/2019/9/10/20859403/assassins-creed-odysseys-discovery-tour-review-ancient-greece-education-game?fbclid=IwAR0TzGG9swN57N23Dqac9XO8qcm7CKONiRZ8gkFhhOQXozq4x1D5bgi-ytg

Image: Koine Greek – Source: Hector Abuid on Flickr [https://www.flickr.com/photos/21536074@N00/2560077543]

“Locus Amoenus: Intertextual/Interdiscoursive Imitatio in Dante’s Comedy”

Dante, Non-VGBL Research, The Divine Comedy

Not #VGBL / video game-based learning related, but academics nevertheless: my completed manuscript, “Locus Amoenus: Intertextual/Interdiscoursive Imitatio in Dante’s Comedy,” (279 pages) has been mailed to the editor today! Evviva!

Wrapping up

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Thank you @jones360! Grazie Liliana!

Jonesy's Journey

For me, learning is what happens during the ‘inbetween’. Not so much The Upside Down, but rather the ‘inbetween’.

The ‘inbetween’ refers to what is in between all of the quizzes, exams, scaffolded projects, structured dialogue, and homework tasks. The ‘inbetween’ is the process of learning a language, it is what happens internally or when you are least expecting it; it is writing verb conjugations over and over again, making your own connections, figuring words out through context or association, correcting your grammar, and helping your peers; it is looking up word meanings via images on Google.it, laughing with an accent, and troubleshooting tech; it is the process of laughing through hour long discussions on the variety of pastas that can be consumed at just one meal, the process of learning the steps of a video game through trial and error, and the process of texting your final project classmates…

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S. Bregni, Video Game-Based Learning as a Preparatory Device & Simulation Strategies for Study Abroad Programs, Beyond – The ISI Florence & Umbra Institute Journal of International Education, 2, 2019.

Game-Based Learning, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, VGBL in F/L2 Publications, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

Thank you ISI Florence and The Umbra Institute. My new article on video game-based learning, (Digital) Narrow Streets of Cobblestone: Game-Based Learning as a Preparatory Device & Simulation Strategies for Study Abroad Programs, appeared today on the new issue of Beyond – The ISI Florence & Umbra Institute Journal of International Education:

https://www.beyondjournal.online/post/video-game-based-learning-as-a-preparatory-device-simulation-strategies-for-study-abroad-programs

Abstract
For decades now, video games have been a pervasive part of our culture (NBCNews.com, 2013). About half of all American adults play video games (Duggan,
2015), while 97% of teen boys and 83% of teen girls also play video games
(Anderson & Jiang, 2018).
The potential for utilizing gaming in learning has been explored in a variety of
fields, including language acquisition (e.g., Reinders, 2012). Some commercially available cinematic video games are fully-interactive multimedia experiences. Thus, including such games in the curriculum as realia (Spurr, 1942; Dlaska, 2003) can help students reinforce, and expand upon, materials they learn through traditional methods. Realia reinforce second/foreign language (F/L2) acquisition through development of specific personal interests. Cinematic games, similar in nature to movies, also add agency, which improves learning (Deters et al., 2014). They also involve problem-solving and critical thinking that can be applied to group interaction, all of which is particularly conducive to learning (Wenger, 1998) and F/L2 acquisition (Nunan, 1992). Video games can
contribute to the goal of transforming our students into life-long learners of (a)
F/L2 language(s), a process explored by CALL (e.g., Smith, 1997).
This article is a case study on teaching practices with video game-based learning, its benefits in the foreign language classroom and, in a more general sense,
in second/foreign language & culture acquisition (F/L2). I argue that utilizing
video games as part of F/L2 experiences, including in the different phases of
the study abroad experience (pre-departure, during the program, and post-departure), can enhance the learning of F/L2 language and culture. Video games
are simulations that challenge, based on repetition, which involve players at a
deep level, thus affording agency. In recent cinematic “AAA” commercial video
game titles, the simulation aspect engages players in a dialogue-based, narrative context that can prepare students for real-life conversations. The article
also serves as a practicum, by providing suggestions on how to use commercial video games to enhance language & culture acquisition as part of independent, autonomous students’ learning that educators and administrators
can foster, structured learning experiences such as study abroad (including
pre- and post-departure), and courses.

Keywords: Game-based learning, CALL, CAI, gamification, foreign languages,
second language acquisition, SLA, video game-based learning, VGBL, gaming,
non-serious gaming, Italian, Italian as a Second Language, Assassin’s Creed,
Tomb Raider, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Sony PlayLink.

* This research was supported in part by a fellowship and an award from the Saint Louis University Reinert Center

#VGBL , #gamebasedlearning#studyabroad#studyabroadprograms#italian#italy#esl#sla#fla#videogames, #CALL, #CAI, #Gamification, #Gaming

In Italy from May 23 through August 20.

Game-Based Learning, Non-serious gaming, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

I will be in Asti, Italy from May 23 through August 20, doing research on video game-based learning, finishing up my book on intertextual imitatio/aemulatio in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and delivering talks and workshops.

I am available to deliver video game-based learning lectures & workshops in Europe. I will consider invitations to deliver talks, lectures and workshops in other areas as well.

I will be in Barcelona from May 30th through June 4th, and on holiday in Southern France from July 20th through August 4th.

Please see the workshop and lecture section of my portfolio here on my blog for more information about my lecture and workshop formats.

Interview on St. Louis Public Radio/NPR – Intensive Italian for Gamers

Game-Based Learning, Hidden Agenda, Non-serious gaming, NPR, PlayLink, PlayStation, St. Louis Public Radio, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

Grazie/Thank you St. Louis Public Radio for your interview! The interview was broadcast today, April 17, 2019, and it is available at the following link:

https://www.kbia.org/post/slu-students-level-language-skills-video-game-based-italian-class?fbclid=IwAR3RvNwK9ZL14uKj_6ZK-3qqLupDuoCfXgSXZfRSnhhGEToF3gKrHHxRORo#stream/0

Thank you St. Louis Public Radio reporter Shahla Farzan for featuring my scholarship and teaching practices on video game-based foreign language learning at Saint Louis University!

Gamification and (Video) Game-Based Learning in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom – Roundtable Session at the AAIS 2019 Conference – Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

AAIS 2019, Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

On Friday, March 15, 2019, I presented in the roundtable session “Gamification and (Video) Game-Based Learning in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom” at the American Association of Italian Studies Conference at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC with fellow Italianists Prof. Camilla Zamboni, Wesleyan University and Dr. Brandon Essary, Elon University. Prof. Zamboni talked about analog “AAA” games, board games and RPG’s, while Dr. Essary and I shared our developments on using “AAA” video game titles.
The session was very well attended and we received very positive feedback.

[Photo: Dr. Bregni (center) with co-panelists Prof. Camilla Zamboni, Wesleyan University, and Dr. Brandon Essary, Elon University]

My Interview with the National Museum of Language

Game-Based Learning, Microsoft, National Museum of Language, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

Grazie/Thank you National Museum of Language for your interview! The interview was published on 3/19:

http://languagemuseum.org/interview-with-simone-bregni-professor-at-saint-louis-university/

I talk about my passion for language learning, video game-based learning with “AAA” titles and my methodology (Identify, Acquire, Create), my research and teaching practices at Saint Louis University, Intensive Italian for Gamers, Assassin’s Creed and Sega’s Shenmue as the best game to learn Japanese language and culture.

 

Intensive Italian for Gamers – Giorno 21

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Grazie @Jones360! She is a brilliant graduate student on her way to pursue a Ph.D. She is taking my Intensive Italian for Gamers this semester as a means to explore new trends in second/foreign language acquisition.

Jonesy's Journey

¡Ciao! 

mercoledì 20 marzo

Per the ush, as the students go along entering class and warming up for our Wednesday in Intensive Italian, Simone has a game playing on the big screen on the right, and our daily plan presented on the left.

🎮 Gioco: we continue to immerse ourselves with input and activities from Assassin’s Creed and when I came in to the class a fellow student was marching Ezio around the streets of Firenze vecchio. The background music was playing, and while most students were paying attention to the game, some were paying attention to their cell phones.  I popped in a wee bit later than normal, just as Simone asked the giocatore to finire. Our classmate closed out to the main menu, and arrowed down to esci. I thought to myself ‘that means to go out or exit’. Then, ‘wait a minute, how do I…

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The elevator pitch

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Grazie @Jones360!

Jonesy's Journey

I was in Georgia last weekend for a Graduate student conference and during a coffee convo with a Hispanic Linguistics professor I was asked about this class, “wait – what? Italian for Gamers?”…”Intensive Italian?”…”Gaming?”. Our chat was actually put on a brief hold while the professor took a brief time out to Google the class.  #Simoneforthewin

And, as I did my elevator pitch of this class, so many of the intentions, angles, and purposes behind all of the pedagogical strategies and methods became a lot clearer and more apparent to me. Sometimes it just takes you explaining something to someone else for you to really fully understand it in a more general way and to appreciate it from an outside perspective. Explaining the class to someone who had absolutely no idea about what it entailed allowed me to bring myself outside of the nitty-gritty details of indefinite plural articles, vocabulary…

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Presentation in the Session “Can AAA Games Be Used to Improve Education?” at the SXSW EDU Conference in Austin, TX – March 6, 2019

Game-Based Learning, Nintendo, Non-serious gaming, PlayStation, Sony, Switch, Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning, Xbox

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, I presented in the session “Can AAA Games Be Used to Improve Education?” at the SXSW EDU Conference in Austin, TX. The session was organized by Maxime Durand, Ubisoft’s historian in charge of the Assassin’s Creed series.
The session was very well received, with a lively Q&A session at the end, and very positive feedback.

https://schedule.sxswedu.com/2019/events/PP85160

Session Description:

Playing videogames has become an integral part of mankind’s cultural habits. A huge gap still divides “AAA” entertainment games (such as Assassin’s Creed) from “serious’’ games (games created by educators for specific educational purposes) in terms of appeal and defined learning objectives. Using data and sharing their own in-class experience, the panelists discussed how AAA games can help advance learning (formal and informal) for students at all stages of their education, from grade school to college.

It was a pleasure to present with Maxime Durand and Brian Stottlemyer, and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future.

Thank you Maxime Durand @TriFreako and @Ubisoft for a great professional opportunity!