“Street Edventures”: be a city explorer in a fun way!
Children behaving as little researchers from a very young age stems from their capacity to observe and experience the world around them. This is their practical way of learning which unfolds early in life! However, as we grow old, we tend to forget to discover new things from the environment around us, to understand the underlying motivations behind people’s actions in our society, to explore our roles as global citizens through communication or playing. For some time now, ideas keep buzzing around my head on how I could combine my interest in graffiti and street art -urban interventions that they have been always caught my attention and I have been spending time to observe them – with a more educational, interactive purpose! It was then that I decided to turn my concept ideation into a game prototype during our semester course “Design Scientific Serious Games”. My project’s name is “Street Edventures” and for the moment is only in a game design form (GDD). Furthermore, I had the outstanding opportunity to present it during the 3rd edition of the International Game Competition for Education and Research (iGAMER) which took place at Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Paris) and was organized by the CRI Game Lab . My participation gave me the chance to meet people from all around the world interested in the game development for scientific, research and educational purposes as well as to communicate my project and get feedback from others.
“Street Edventures” is a prototype that proposes a language-learning experience by playing, currently tailor-made for the city of Paris. The players will meet the diversity of urban art (slogans, tags, drawings, installations to name a few) and at the same time they will enhance their knowledge in the French language through a city-based blended learning game. Depending on the type of the street artifact, ludic activities will be proposed to the user from a wide range of exercises concerning the use of french language (grammar, orthography etc.), storytelling and many more, out of a specific curriculum. At the same time, the user would be asked to submit their own exercises. This game suggests a new way to encourage citizens to observe, to extract information from their urban environment and learn/produce something from the messages conveyed through street art (“les murs ont la parole”).
The game is designed for French speaking children of primary school age or/and non-native language speaking children who are learning French as a foreign language.
Game environment & proposed activities:
The game environment as I have designed it, it would be the city map of Paris. There would bet several spots on it: each one is leading the user to different street artifacts.
In each spot, there would be a set of street artifacts that the users can explore.
For instance, regarding a slogan like the one on the left tagged in the streets of Paris , there would be proposed activities correlated with:
-L’emploi du verbe “faire”
-La différence entre les prépositions en, à et dans
-Les adjectifs possessifs
While for street artifacts which contain no words, there would be proposed self-reflexion activities on the content, on the emotional expression of the human figures represented in them. In addition, there would be suggested activities so as to generate stories (storytelling) inspired by the graffities and various text production activities regarding the (social) messages that the artist wanted to conveyed creatively through art. Moreover, users will have the option to submit their own findings from the city and create & propose their own exercises.
Pedagogical objectives of “Streets Edventures”:
* Learn and strengthen linguistic skills as far as grammar, orthography, syntax, spelling, punctuation are concerned.
* Improve skills on text production and story generating.
* Encourage users to behave as actors, as a field researchers, as (potential) smart citizen who learns by observing their urban environment.
To conclude, I perceive the streets as a sort of an outdoor art gallery where many people anonymously –in most of the cases- decide to share their thoughts, their critical judgment about a social, political issue, and their talent with all of us through the streets of a city. Street walls/sidewalks in public space (with respecting the cultural heritage of a site) should be seen as a way of communication through citizens, as an externalization of imagination and creativity in a visual display. My overall goal of this project is to encourage people in ways to pay more attention to the messages conveyed in the urban surroundings around them and learn something new.
If you want to exchange ideas , please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org