Now I realise that this isn’t necessarily about a new mobile game, or an upcoming title, but given the subject matter I figured this was something that needed to be shared with a wider audience. More importantly, it was worth sharing with likeminded people who know the importance video games can have on the imagination.
Jeff Clark is a sixth grade English teacher out of Cheektowaga-Sloan, a school district in Buffalo, NY that’s home two four different schools. He is also the creator of Patient Number Zero, an online narrative that was created to enrich the learning experience for his students, teaching them the importance of narrative through a unique online gaming experience.
“As we continue to evolve into a “gaming” culture, it would be foolish for educators to not capitalize on students’ high level of interest and immersion in video games,” Jeff explains on his kickstarter campaign page, “Games like Uncharted, Skyrim, and the Fallout series tell AMAZING narratives that not only engage the player, but leave a lasting impression, much like that of an amazing piece of literature. My goal is to merge the English Language Arts with high-interest video games.”
The plan involves combining various video games across multiple genres and platforms with the national Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy. This will teach kids to analyse specific video game narratives, genres and plots whilst building an interest in writing walkthroughs, narratives or video game reviews and creative pieces, visual presentations and the like.
From a personal point of view, I wish there had been something like this back when I was a kid. To be able to write about what I love now as a child would have not only motivated me to become a writer earlier in life, but it would have also allowed me to share in my love and appreciation for video games instead of just playing at home when no-one was watching. It’s a sign of the times, perhaps, that gaming has become more than just picking up a controller after a hard days work.
Now of course, none of this is possible without your help, so be sure to head over to the kickstarter page and show your support for this fantastic initiative. As indie writers, fans and creators alike, we can all agree that providing a better curriculum of the children of the future can only lead to bigger and better things, not only within our own industry but within the general appreciation of the english language as a whole and beyond.
So please, go donate what you can to put some smiles on some kids faces. Tell Jeff that IGM sent you.