As a follow up to my last post on educational games, I wanted to provide an update on EVOKE – nearly two weeks into the game. For those of you who missed my last post, Evoke is a social networking game that is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere. The "text book" for this course is an online graphic novel. Set in the year 2020, the graphic novel follows the efforts of a mysterious network of Africa’s best problem-solvers. Each week, as players unravel the mystery of the Evoke network, they will form their own innovation networks: brainstorming creative solutions to real-world development challenges, learning more about what it takes to be a successful social innovator, and finding ways to make a difference in the world.
In 10 Global Trends in ICT and Education, I included gaming as a trend to keep an eye on. The gaming industry has been growing faster than the movie industry in the past number of years and is occupying an increasing number of hours of time in a young person’s day. Educational games it can be argued have the potential to reach students outside of the classroom where some traditional educational methodologies are failing. This genre of “serious games” has indeed mushroomed over the past number of years. A number of “serious games” have been developed in the fields of education, business, health, politics, engineering, defense, etc. In order to better understand the impact and potential of such games, we decided to develop and evaluate an educational game focused on youth social innovation and development – Evoke: a crash course in changing the world.