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!

Image: Koine Greek – Source: Hector Abuid on Flickr []

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:

For decades now, video games have been a pervasive part of our culture (, 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

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:

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!