GBL MOOC – Week 1: Game Based Learning/Game principles: Serious Games (Viking Quest)

Viking Quest - Splash screen

Viking Quest is an adventure game produced by BBC History.

This post documents my thoughts on Viking Quest as part of the Week 1 activities and research into Serious Games for the Games Based Learning (GBL) MOOC.

The game 
Viking Quest – http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/games/viking_quest/

What is it?
Viking Quest is an adventure game produced by BBC history. The player is placed in the role of a viking who has been issued a challenge by their chief. The challenge is to travel to a distant land, loot a monastery and then return to Norway with the treasure.

Audience
General/Primary and Secondary school

Why so Serious (Game)?
To successfully meet the challenge set by the Viking chief, the player needs to:

  • determine if they should borrow money to fund their quest
  • choose a location to build their longship
  • select a longship that is suitable for their journey
  • choose crew members
  • select a route across the North Sea
  • determine if they should burn the monastery.

Game mechanics
Viking Quest features:

Learning outcomes
Viking Quest provides an overview of the type of activities (Sailing, looting, ship building), technology/transport (Longships, weapons), commerce (Loans/Borrowing money, slavery), belief systems (Casting runes – Consulting the Gods, Christianity), settlements (Froya, Strandebarm, Kaupang) established by Viking culture.

Without knowing the scope/audience for Viking Quest, (but knowing that it was produced by BBC History) I think it’s reasonable to assume that the broad overview of Viking Culture presented in the game was the intended learning outcome. I also think it’s reasonable to assume that Viking Quest may be part of a larger and perhaps more detailed learning/educational resource on Viking culture and could be regarded as complementary material.

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