In the News

The Synthesis of Online Gaming and Education
By Thorsten Burkard

It is a well-known fact that young people spend more hours playing computer games, instead of doing their homework and learning for school and beyond.

They often hear enough from their parents, relatives and teachers, how important education is for their future. However, it’s also well known that what they hear it’s not necessarily what they do. There is a break in how authorities try to reach the students, and how the students perceive those attempts. This, in the most cases, it’s related to a difference in the cultural environment of each group. What one feels effective is boring to the other.

To help level this situation, we need a common ground where both student and teacher can relate. And the best way to relate to a student is, and will always be, to give him something that’s interesting for him. If a teacher enters his classroom with a tool that allows that common ground to be established, then the possibilities for education put in his hands seems to come as a gift from God at the right moment of time.

To be able to reach his students on their level we have a most interesting proposal we are willing to share. It’s called the “Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game”, and in this particular case, the tool comes to you free of charge.

This Multi -Player Online Game we are talking about is a very successful game in Korea, Japan and other Asian countries, and it’s steadily gaining popularity in the occidental hemisphere. It is called “Helbreath: the Crusade”, which is translated from Scandinavian mythology the “The Crusade of Hel, the goddess of Darkness”.

The game is very popular with young players, without any doubt, but a trained eye and knowledgeable gamer would realize very quickly, that something vital is missing.

‘Content’, is obviously the plain answer, the missing element. And so the idea was born; to reform the game with the help of volunteers. A team is being formed, from students from Universities and Colleges, IT Professionals, amateurs and young players of this game. All coming from different educational backgrounds, they have joined forces together and formed into the Helbreath game team.

We have begun to rewrite the entire storyline of the game, creating needed educational and exciting content. Reformed into educational tool and game, made by players for players. As a vision, ready to be put into practice in the shortest possible time frame, because the game should be ready to fulfill its new purpose in June 2002.

It is our mission to involve as many Colleges, Universities and schools as possible, who are interested to participate in this interesting project, to reform the game together with us, to create an exiting educational platform.

It is always possible to add content to a world of fantasy in creation, so there are many possibilities. For example, creative writing of stories, most players like to talk about their own in game characters (because everybody loves to talk about ones creations). As there are several countries involved it is possible to interest language teachers and classes with translations and practice in foreign languages. As we are also trying to diversify contents, brainstorming for new suggestions on how to improve the quest system are needed and help the students to think in creative ways. Wouldn’t it be nice to do something more exciting than killing monsters?

Maybe general knowledge questions, translation requests for visitors from other countries, or some science questions for the alchemist? How about the manufacturer explaining his skills and introducing his partners in real life? Or the miner gives you an all round knowledge in mining. Not just the mining in the Dungeons of Helbreath, but the real mines and tells you, in which location or country you can find the treasures we are all seeking?

The warrior guide, which will teach you lessons in fencing, archery and how to be fit, fast and build your resistance and stamina? Or what about a live Role Playing Performance brought to the game by pupils in Drama classes? Have you never seen the Korean version of Hamlet in Helbreath?

In many schools and colleges computer facilities are not used enough, and many of their pupils have no Internet access from home, especially in deprived areas and countries. In this endeavor, students have a reason to learn how to communicate effectively, working as a team to grow and have fun.

Consider a Helbreath game team in your school or college; competing with the guild of a school on a different continent. It is not only challenging, it is learning to work together in harmony and understanding. It is learning to respect each other and in using the English language they will develop additional language skills that will aid them later in life.

We are planning to work together with Westminster University London and other educational institutions, which are assisting us already. We have found an open ear with members of the e-mint forum, hosted by BBConline, who are interested to get involved in our project. The game is ready waiting for you, just send an e-mail request for more information to:

Thorsten Burkard
Sales & Marketing Manager
Europe & International
Siementech Co Ltd.
Seoul - Korea / London UK

Or visit the Helbreath web site.
Click to Visit the Helbreath Web Site

Tel.+44 207 4036221
mob.+44 7765 414702

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