Learning about national history and culture through computer games

Pupils to learn about Maxim Bogdanovich’s creativity via interactive game

By Tatiana Vishneva

Pupils to learn about Maxim Bogdanovich’s creativity via interactive game

Pupils to learn about Maxim Bogdanovich’s creativity via interactive gamePupils could learn about Maxim Bogdanovich’s creativity via a computer game called House of Secrets, created by the international project Virtual Past — Guarantor of Future Museum Success. Designed as part of the trans-boundary co-operation programme Lithuania-Latvia-Belarus, the game features the Grodno House-Museum of Maxim Bogdanovich, and information on the poet’s life and works: his childhood and Grodno period, and the city environment of that time. The game comprises several levels and represents a journey through the rooms of the museum, presented in riddles, and pure Belarusian speech. At the last level, the player must gather the whole family of the poet. The game is intended for students of all ages interested in history and poetry.

Svetlana Rapetskaya, the Belarusian co-ordinator of the project, works at the Grodno History and Archaeology Museum. She tells us, “The game has been tested by pupils in Grodno, and teachers who are interested in using it for educational purposes.” Rēzekne Higher Education Institute (leading partner, Latvia), Kėdainiai Regional Museum (Lithuania), the Grodno History and Archaeology Museum (its literary branch) and the Latgale Culture and History Museum (Latvia) have all been involved in creating the game.

Other such educational games include Transformations of Clay, by the Latgale Museum, and Recreate the Arnets’ House, by the Kėdainiai Museum, as well as the historical game by Rēzekne Higher Education Institute Go There, Do Not Know Where, Bring It, Do Not Know What. All games are free of charge, and available from www.futureofmuseums.eu. The site represents a multi-language trans-boundary virtual museum telling about all four establishments — as participants of the project.

The Latvian curator of the project, Ilga Šuplinska, notes that it aims to inspire interest among students. He says, “We understand that today’s youngsters may become interested in history through computer games. Each partner has created a game for a certain age. The Belarusian game is intended for children of younger and middle school age, up to 6th form, while the Lithuanian is for pupils in the 7-9th forms, Latgale is universal, and that from Rēzekne Higher Education Institute is for all students interested in history. Each game has its own concept, riddles and logic.”

Software developers Latvian MS-IDI Krišjānis Daugulis, and Imants Zarembo explain that the museum games are available not only for personal computers, but for mobile devices using any operating system. The games use 2D and 3D graphic visualisation, and hand controls, and are already popular, with that of Rēzekne Higher Education Institute receiving more than 20,000 downloads.
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