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Trócaire today launched a new Development Education video game called ‘Project Honduras’. This computer game is an innovative new way to teach young people in Ireland about the impacts of climate change overseas.
‘Project Honduras’, which recently won the International Educational Game Competition 2018, is the first online Development Education game of its kind in Ireland. It is a strategy game where the primary goal is to show how important it is for communities to work together to combat climate change.
Aimed at 10-14-year-olds, the game is based on the real-life experiences of two young Honduran climate activists, Javier and Andrea, who featured in Trócaire’s 2017 Lent campaign on climate action.
Primary-school students from Gaelscoil Bharra, Cabra, who tested the game, were present to play the game at today’s launch day at DCU, St Patrick’s.
11 year old Brandán Ó Casín enjoyed playing the game and learning about climate change. When compared to other games that children play, he said Project Honduras is “better than FIFA” and with other games “sometimes there’s too much gore and violence and it is actually boring”. 12 year old Mia Ní Raghallaigh said that she got into the game so much that she “wanted to keep playing until you finish, I wanted to get it right”. 11 year old Harvey Mac Riocard said “it’s better to play a game than to learn in a book”.
Their principal, Seán Ó’Donaile, said that “this new game from Trócaire is an excellent way of teaching students about issues in the developing world in a fun context. Kids are concerned about issues like climate change in particular, and this game enhances their knowledge. Students are very interested in the lives of people in other countries. It’s important they learn about other cultures in a spirit of solidarity”.
He added that “a game is a fun relaxed setting and is a specific activity that is more beneficial than books, they’ll remember it more because it’s a game”.
Speaking at the launch event in DCU, Jen Murphy, Trócaire’s Development Education Manager, said: “We’re delighted to formally launch Trócaire’s ‘Project Honduras’ game with the help of DCU and the students of Gaelscoil Bharra, Cabra”.
“The game went through extensive testing with both students and teachers during development and we’re confident that this ensured that Trócaire produced something teachers could use and students could enjoy.
“We’re really pleased that the game has been so well received so far and we hope that it will help as an educational tool to raise awareness of some of the issues that communities are facing around the world due to climate change.”
‘Project Honduras’ won the International Educational Game Competition 2018 for the best game in development, beating stiff competition from games designers from China, America, Brazil, France, Germany and the UK, at the Educational Conference on Games-based Learning in France.
The game was designed by digital agency eightytwenty and Trócaire in consultation with Trócaire’s Honduras office. Trócaire are now exploring the possibility of a translation into Spanish to use in local communities in Honduras to support emergency preparedness.