Classroom game teach ethics via grave-robbing

Written by Joe Martin

December 8, 2007 | 09:58

Tags: #children #class #edutainment #ethics #grave #kid #modern #school #teen

Grave-robbing isn't something which traditionally has a place in the classroom, but that isn't stopping Prof. Doug Thomas from trying to bring it to pupils via a new game designed to teach ethics.

The Prof., who is an associate of the USC Annenberg School of Communication, has just put the finishing touches to a new game called Modern Prometheus according to Reuters. The game is intended for use in the classroom and casts players as the assistant of Dr. Frakenstein, charging them with tasks such as stealing brains from the local graveyard.

The game is designed to pose ethical dilemmas to children by asking them if they think the ends justify the means through simple tasks. Would you harvest corpses and desecrate holy ground in order to prevent a plague? The whole thing reminds me of Fallout 2, which used a similar mechanic by offering players the chance to free haunted ghosts but forcing them to suffer the social stigma of being a graverobber.

The game itself is pretty short at only an hour long, but the idea is to extend the gameplay though discussion and debate in a learning environment.

Unfortunately, the hard part is getting schools to get aboard the program. Prof. Thomas has teamed with other edutainment developers and is working to promote the game through Second Life, but still faces an uphill struggle.

Is it worth the effort and do you think ethics are something that should be taught in school or should they be handled solely by the parents? What is the value of a strong ethical code? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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