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]

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!

The French Canadian Gaming Industry, Language Learning, Higher Education and the Job Market – A Project in St. Louis for 2019

Video Game Localization, Video Game-Based Language Learning, Video Game-Based Learning, Video Games in Foreign Language Teaching & Learning

I am honored to have met today with Martin Dionne, cultural attaché of Québec in Chicago. I was invited by Dr. Lionel Cuillé, French professor and Jane and Bruce Robert Chair in French and Francophone Studies at Webster University in St. Louis.
Very happy to be involved in a project that involves Video Game-Based Learning in Second/Foreign Language Acquisition that is planned for fall 2019 here in St. Louis. The project, sponsored by the Government of Quebec, will include roundtables on Video Game-Based Language Learning, Higher Education and the job market in the French Canadian gaming industry.
The presence of companies such as Ubisoft, EA, Eidos, Bethesda, Square Enix, Warner Bros, makes the French-speaking Canadian province of Québec one of the leading regions for the gaming industry worldwide. Effective foreign language acquisition in Higher Education provides students with the necessary skills to attain fluency in other languages, which increases their opportunities in job markets throughout the gaming industry worldwide.
Glad to represent Saint Louis University and the Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures on such an important project.