Streetlearn: a serious game using Google Streetview
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The StreetLearn project has developed and tested a serious game using Google Streetview to create the 3D surroundings of the game. The learner/gamer is a police officer searching for a drugs dealer and his stash. The game is situated in the centre of Amsterdam, the 'grachtengordel', that forms part of the Unesco cultural heritage. While playing the gamer learns about the cultural and historical value of the grachtengordel.
Games often take place in a realistic 3D-environment. Developing these surroundings is much too costly for many educational institutions. But Google Streetview is an open 3D-environment, available for everybody. Is it possible to use Google Streetview for serious games, was the central question for the project Streetlearn. What are the possibilities and limitations of Google Streetview as a 3D-environment for educational purposes. What do teachers need to use this environment for the development of serious games? What are the benefits of the use of Google Streetview as a game environment for eduction?
The Streetlearn project has developed a location-dependent game using Google Streetview. A learning scenario has been written in which the gamers play the role of a police officer hunting for drugsdealers. The gamers receive assignments to find objects, to go to another location, to follow up tips and to answer questions. In the meantime they move through the streets of the centre of Amsterdam, gaining information and acquiring knowledge about their enviroment.
A prototype has been developed and has been made available in Google Streetview. A small group of students Cultural Sciences of the Open Universiteit have played the game. The fist evaluations are posted on the website of Streetlearn. The final evaluation of the project will also appear there.