Start with reviewing the teaching materials for a specific game scenario. After reviewing the topic's historical overview, have students work in pairs to play each episode. Between episodes, ask students to journal about the characters they meet, and then pose questions about them. Further tweak assignments, debriefing and following up research questions as necessary.
Have students create outlines of the different perspectives in the game and make lists of each view represented. Choose two volunteers to role-play each side of the conflict, encouraging improvisation in addition to referring to their lists. Then have the conversation again, this time with a mediator who helps guide the class to find a common ground on the issue.Continue reading Show less
Global Conflicts is a video-game series featuring different scenarios (e.g., Global Conflicts: Palestine; Global Conflicts: Child Soldiers; Global Conflicts: Afghanistan). The games, played from a first-person perspective in a 3-D world (with easy point-and-click controls), ask students to put themselves in the role of different characters, conducting interviews and following dialogue trees to their conclusions in order to better understand the different perspectives, viewpoints, and ethical issues each conflict raises. Each game tasks students with investigating or reporting on a particular problem: They might, for example, act as an International Criminal Court investigator interviewing Uganda’s leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, or as a journalist reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In all games, students interview and converse with a variety of people, including ordinary citizens, politicians, resistance leaders, journalists, officials, and others to reach the best decisions in the game.
Real learning occurs when educators don't shy away from realistic representations of real-world conflicts. These games offer no simple answer to the conflicts presented, thereby encouraging deep investigation into, and critical thinking about, international issues, corruption, democracy, human rights, immigration, and poverty, to name a few.
Each game character is well-developed. Having students delve into the personal experiences of local residents, aid workers, police, and so on creates for the student a very social -- and personal -- narrative journey with many opportunities for self-reflection. Through all the interviews and conversations, students amass data and information essential to adequately assess each situation.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.