A history video game?





A grant from one of the largest foundations in the United States is allowing a group from Queen's University to complete a video game focusing on Canadian history.
The $150,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation will mean that the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's will be able to finish the last two chapters of the educational game, which focus on building Canada through Sir John A. Macdonald.

Modelled after the popular game Civilization, the Queen's think-tank plans to hand out 100,000 copies of the game free of charge to schools across the country.

The grant announcement is being made today.
"This is a huge gift we're trying to give to schools and students," said centre chairman Tom Axworthy, a senior adviser to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
"You can play Civilization, but with Canadian content."
Axworthy said the centre is interested in doing more of these types of games -- known as "serious games" for their educational focus -- and producing them locally, which could create jobs for students.

"If we can make Queen's and Kingston a player in the serious gaming industry ... there's the potential for us to create a strong, local industry," Axworthy said.
It's a broad vision, he said, but with the completion of this first game, "we're off to the races."

"You've got to go where the technology is taking you and where (people's) interests lie," Axworthy said.


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