The pen is mightier than the sword in this new video game that challenges players to improve their creative writing
Though playing a video game to learn how to write may seem like an oxymoron, already educators and students are saying the game is helping improve grammar, teach the fundamentals of composition, and inspiring creative expression.
Not only is the game being lauded as innovative for its focus on the humanities, it’s also being praised for its graphics, which focus on classic literary environments.
The game, titled Elegy for a Dead World and developed by Dejobaan Games in conjunction with Popcannibal, features players exploring and writing about the past civilizations of lost planets whose designs are inspired by the works of British Romantic era poets.
Garnering much attention from educators during its development, Dejobaan Games raised $72,000 in a successful October 2014 Kickstarter campaign. Far surpassing their initial goal of $48,000, the extra support enabled Dejobaan to donate 1,000 keys to over 40 institutions in 9 countries.
As the game nears the final phases of its development, it has already been lauded by critics for its strong emphasis on storytelling and for allowing players to take an active role in the creation of the worlds they explore. Elegy for a Dead World has been listed by numerous gaming websites as one of the most anticipated games of 2015, and has received an Independent Games Festival 2014 honorable mention, a Game Developer Conference Experimental Gameplay Workshop selection, and two IndieCade International Festival of Indie Games selections.
Dejobaan Games is still offering 25 free downloads to any accredited institutions interested in using the game in their schools. They are also working with educators in K-12, ESL, and university programs in order to craft unique lesson plans based around the game.
(Next page: Gameplay footage; how it helps to improve creative writing)