A video game, a History class and a teacher eager to innovate.
This is Classroom 2060, a project that began as a board game and it has now become a video game.
This project of digitizing a board game, of which we form part of, will have an important impact on education. Find out in this post why we are so proud of it.
How did the idea come about?
Learning by heart is still the traditional methodology used to teach and evaluate students. And although new trends have been adopted in recent years, very few teachers have dared to change this methodology.
This reality continues to cause among many high school students a lack of interest in certain subjects, such as History. How many hours have we spent memorizing data and dates that bored us and over time we have forgotten? However, we remember the names of the characters in the series and the books that we liked the most.
Therefore, it seems reasonable to think that something that entertains us is easier to learn and remember.
And this is what Dr. De Frutos thought. In order to break down the traditional barriers, he unfolds some maps on the table and assigns roles to his students. This is how Classroom 2060 emerged, making their subject one of their favourites.
Game of the board game “Classroom 2060”
Classroom 2060: Learning by playing
The game is based on reacting to historical events that occur in each turn of the game. Each student assumes the role of a government leader or certain interest groups within each country, to later carry out diplomatic, economic or even military actions. Each student assumes the role of a government leader or certain interest groups within each country, to later carry out diplomatic, economic or even military actions.
As a result of the actions and decisions made by other players, new events occur, making the story evolve over different historical periods.
First game: Digitalization
Over the years, the idea of the teacher is consolidated, new editions are created, advancing from the first simple scenarios to more complex games, adding other historical periods.
The next step is to execute the digitalization of Classroom 2060, to make it more accessible to teachers and students, turning it into an educational video game.
For this digitization, José Ignacio has the invaluable help of Mar Ble, video game designer. Together, they are creating the dynamics of the game to make it attractive and achievable as a video game.
In addition, the Lurtis Rules team has been involved in this process of digital transformation of the game since its inception, developing technological means. Thus, in the last year, we have taken the first steps of a new version that is taking shape.
The first Classroom 2060 prototype
One of the greatest challenges in the digital transformation of Classroom 2060 has been the complexity of creating a digital environment for a board game.
And even more.
A digital environment in a secondary education classroom
At all times, the most important aspect of this digital transformation was not creating a video game, but a digital educational experience that, through gamification and historical simulation, would allow students and teachers to take full advantage of this new way of studying and discovering history.
In this context, a prototype has been outlined that aims to present a complete “turn” of the game, until it covers the entire historical period, contemplated during the Cold War.
Past events Dashboard
How do we do it?
1. We have used multiplayer video game technology, through the Unity3D engine. Thus, we have created the necessary infrastructure to be able to develop an assisted Classroom 2060 class. With this technology developed by Lurtis, teachers and students can interact and adapt the pace of the classes to their needs.
2. We have used a work methodology typical of the video game environment where the art and development departments have been shaping the needs of game design, thus managing to adapt the pedagogical requirements to the real classroom environment.
3. Using 2D art we have created a world full of nuances where art, iconography and settings allow the student to understand, see and feel history attractively.
In short, we have proposed an immersion model for the student to take part in the decisions and join in a “journey” through history. It is an innovative model that values not only the knowledge of the students, but also their negotiation skills, their empathy, their planning and teamwork.
Potsdame Conference (1945)
Next steps: Artificial Intelligence
Once this first version of the game is finished, it will be time to apply Artificial Intelligence to achieve an intelligent environment, giving players the opportunity to enjoy Classroom 2060 without the need to reach a minimum number of participants.
Classroom 2060 is a project that we are passionate about on a recreational, educational and technological level. We are very proud to be able to contribute to this initiative.
And although there are still some details to perfect to end the game, reaching the end of this first version will be a historic moment for all who have participated. We will be able to see how students can enjoy and learn while playing with Classroom 2060. All this with a clear purpose: to open, through games, debates and reflections that change the way students conceive the world.
Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues from Lurtis for their work on this project, Luis Miguel Garcia Ortiz, Daniela Castro in Art; Walter Rojas in Design; and Aitor Izurrategui and Erik Mateos in Development. Without forgetting Dr. De Frutos and Mar Blé, without them this project would not have existed.
Nicolás Tapia – Unity Developer