Prisoner of Echo is perhaps used best as a hook to get students into sound, and as a foundation from which to launch in lessons on sound physics. Even if it doesn't teach the concepts all that well, enough happens in the game that teachers should be able to use the game's mechanics as a touchstone when introducing key terms. Teachers may even ask students to do some reading, or listen to a lecture, and then try to map what they've learned to what they experienced in-game.Continue reading Show less
Prisoner of Echo is meant to teach students the properties of sound by making sound physics into puzzle mechanics. Students must navigate factories, warehouses, and mining tunnels in an attempt to explore and later escape from the asteroid. Players must learn to manipulate how much sound they're producing because enemy robots who might foil the player's plans are scattered around and listening. But since different areas of the game have different ranges for how far sound travels, there ends up being more trial and error than is desirable.
Unfortunately, the learning content feels a bit superficial. What players are actually doing doesn't model sound all that well; rather, sound science serves more as a thematic overlay. There's little explanation of how/why things work the way they do. The built-in dictionary is very descriptive, but without effective context or in-game instruction, students are left with more questions than they begin with. If framed appropriately, however, Prisoner of Echo can get students thinking about environmental ethics since the story deals with preserving or harvesting resources.
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