An educational computer game that charts the life of Andrew Carnegie is being piloted in Scottish schools. Created by Abertay University graduates and using gamification to engage pupils, The Legacy includes a digital version of Carnegie’s birthplace cottage in Dunfermline and a chance to catch rats aboard the ship that took him to America.
Aimed at S1-S3, students, the game will be tested in six schools and could be released internationally, say its makers. Created by Orthrus Studios, a teams of Abertay graduates, the project started life as a third year piece of coursework and has now grown into a resource which it is hoped could become part of the national curriculum.
Oliver Smith, of Orthrus, said the financial backing from the Carnegie Birthplace Museum Trust, the Carnegie UK Trust and the Hunter Foundation had helped develop the game.
“[It] is going to be used in conjunction with a module of learning that’s being rolled out in high schools across Scotland, and they are aiming to go international with it,” he said. “It is to help teach people about the life and legacy of Andrew Carnegie.”
The game begins in Carnegie’s birthplace cottage in Dunfermline, which is now a museum, and also takes in the Dunfermline Carnegie Library and trading ship the S.V. Wiscasset. Players can solve puzzles in large factories, learn about weaving looms, decipher telegrams and morse code, and receive an introduction to steel production.
It includes an editing tool which teachers and pupils can use to create their own levels based on particular pieces of Carnegie history. Oliver said: “It’s all about making the player feel involved and like you can actually be there. We are trying to be as accurate as possible and we have so many references photos from that era and architectural layouts.”