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Tesseract Center wins International Civil Rights History Game Award

U of A's Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design won Silver in the Higher Education category for its participation in the 2021 International Serious Play Awards competition, which rewards outstanding games used for training or education.

The competition is part of the annual Serious Play Conference, "a leadership conference for professionals who are exploring the use of game-based learning, sharing their experience, and working together to shape the future of training and education."

The Tesseract Center entrance, Mornin 'In Your Eyes is an interactive visual narrative that immerses players in key events of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1963 to 1964. Other award winners include major studies of for-profit games such as Schell Games, as well as other top-tier educational institutions, including Harvard Business School.

Mornin 'In Your Eyes was developed by the Tesseract Center in conjunction with Professor Jeannie Whayne of the Department of History at the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, with the support of a Faculty Improvement Grant from the Faculty of U of A Wally Cordes Teaching and Support Center. The U of A Global Campus provided additional support for the development of Mornin 'In Your Eyes .

Along with Whayne and the Tesseract Center staff, the game development team included Ken Muessig, instructional designer for U of A Global Campus, and Priscilla and Kevin Snow of Bravemule, an independent game design team, for music and scripts. Will Teague, a Ph.D. student of the Department of History, provided information on research and design.

Mornin 'In Your Eyes has been used as a learning tool in U of A US history and Arkansas history courses since 2019. The game takes place in a fictional cafeteria in a college town in the early 1960s and incorporates contemporary newspaper articles from The New York Times and The Chicago Defender .

Players read articles and converse with the diverse cast of cafeteria characters, each with a different perspective on the struggle for political, social, and economic equality for African Americans.

Players learn about the transformative events of this period, including the March on Washington, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"The game is a great way for players to practice historical empathy," said David Fredrick, director of the Tesseract Center and professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures. “It's another skill players can acquire from trying to understand the points of view of each of the different characters, as well as accepting the fact that many of the issues of racial inequality and injustice from the game's time period remain with us . now, almost 60 years after the events of the game. "

About the Serious Play conference: Serious Play is an annual conference that focuses on learning and education based in games. Includes multiple tracks with expert presentations on the full range of game-based learning, including K-12 and higher education, healthcare, worker training, executive education, and the military. The International Awards Program Al Serious Game highlights achievements in serious and educational games in these verticals, with judges drawn from professional and academic game studios whose research is based on the serious use of games.

About the Tesseract Center for immersive environments and game design: The Tesseract Center is a games studio on the campus of the University of Arkansas that develops serious games and 3D visualizations in time real. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a particular emphasis within this body of work. The Tesseract Center offers introductory game design courses and internships, with the goal of preparing students for jobs that include user experience and interactive design, digital humanities and data visualization, as well as positions within the industry itself. of the game. More information can be found on the Tesseract Center website.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $ 2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and activity. creative while providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks U of A in the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report ranks U of A among the best public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.

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