Parents and teachers consider digital games as the ultimate enemy of children’s education. Despite their efforts, children spend increasingly long time in front of screens, neglecting at the same time their school obligations and minimizing their social interaction with other children. It seems that game playing has taken the baton from TV cartoon programs and, going few decades back, we see that it was the heroes of comics who attracted children’s attention.
On the other hand studies show that even young children with low achievement at school are able to memorise huge amount of information about comic heroes and use it successfully to play games. For decades the two worlds, the world of comics and gaming and the world of education, are competing each other to attract children’s interest. Rather than pitting these two worlds against each other, Climatopia entangles them by bringing comic and interactive gaming to education.
An example of successful use of comic in education is the adaptation of classic literature works in comics. On the other hand typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play, immediate rewards etc.) are increasingly applied in education. It seems that comics and gamification brings education to students in a way that is more accessible to them. Climatopia project proposes the interrelated use of both: a Comic Book and a Simulation and Decision-Making Game.
The specific objectives of Climatopia are:
- To develop students' scientific knowledge and ecological competences on how to effectively apply acquired knowledge in the context of a simulation game and decision-making (Learning to do).
- To provide "designed experiences" in which players can learn by doing and being, rather than by absorbing information from traditional lectures and classroom formats (Learning to be).
- To design highly engaging learning experiences that allow players to develop empathy by taking on different roles and perspectives (Learning to live together): imagining oneself in the future and seeing the consequences of actions at different points in time.