It wasn’t long ago that genealogy was considered a senior citizen’s interest. After a popular genealogy-related TV series that required extensive research and hours of searching, people’s attitudes towards genealogy shifted a little. Discover how video games and genealogy can be exciting for you in this informative article from Justin Steves.
People in their forties and fifties began to wonder about their ancestors. On the other hand, the younger generation is less interested in this topic.
It’s one thing to study history in a school environment. A terrific learning method is to develop a personal connection, as any trip to a live gallery or heritage site can tell you.
People born between 1982 and 2002 are known as Millennials.
Since they were infants, this generation has been immersed in technology. They can multitask well, are regularly overscheduled, and have vastly different motivations from earlier generations.
This generation may be more worried about student loans than their grandparents’ and parents’ history.
This post will discuss how video games can help millennials, and younger generations discover their genealogical background. We’ll also look at some video games that deal with the same theme.
How Can Video Games Help Develop An Interest In Genealogy?
What can be done to ignite the younger generation’s interest in genealogy? The answer, according to researchers, will be found in gaming.
They aren’t talking about the simple games and family activities children have enjoyed for millennia. Instead, they’re analyzing video games.
Joshua Taylor leads the Federation for Genealogical Societies. He also works for FindMyPast as the data strategy manager.
He claims that genealogy shares some similarities with the video games that many Millennials like. Both provide a portal to “another universe.”
However, when there is a lot of community involvement, both are more interesting. Both provide opportunities for networking through websites, social media, and workshops.
What Is Expected From Industry Specialists?
To be clear, experts are not working on a genealogy video game for the younger generation. Instead, they highlight crucial elements that such a game should feature or employ.
They suggest, for example, that a video game can be customized to assist young people in recording “live memory.”
In other words, they want an entertaining yet engaging game that collects what a young person posts on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social networking platforms.
The argument is that unless anything is done to preserve those individual posts, they will be lost over time.
Apparently, video games that hit on specific basic themes that genealogists also emphasize can be the key to attracting this younger generation.
Right now, the video game that experts desire to see does not exist. Perhaps one of the Younger generations will come up with the idea!
There are several easy genealogy-based games to play till then.
Modern Video Games
Ordinary people are interested in the past and may now interact with it in innovative ways. Researchers studying games and aging have noticed a tendency to create even stronger emotional ties with their audience.
This is possible by the use of crackling voices of individuals who survived pivotal historical events in the game narrations.
Gaminiscing – the use of video game tools to convey personal history – is a term used by game designers.
These projects blend history-related audio recordings with gaming, allowing players to explore a virtual world.
Players can experience relevant life tales narrated to them by elderly individuals of that era.
Educative Video Games
Learning about DNA
Three simple video games from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory teach players about DNA:
- DNA sequencing is one of them.
- Another allows players to build RNA.
- And third explains how a ribosome works.
photoGENIX: genetics and genealogy game
A genealogical puzzle game in which you reconstruct a family tree using genetic evidence. To put the photographs in a family tree, look at the faces for genetic and other clues.
The long-term objective is to port photoGENIX to iPad, which was previously available on Facebook and afterward as a desktop program.
New players are given a step-by-step tutorial on how to play the game and a refresher on dominant and recessive genes.
Build your talents with medium-difficulty puzzles that provide just the perfect amount of genetic information. You may investigate the impact of genes on face traits as you unlock them.
Games That Connect Generations
Funium has designed a Facebook game called “Family Village”. Players construct a hamlet filled with their family and ancestors.
The game includes a tiny bit of entertaining genealogical research and motivates players to learn more about their ancestors.
It’s the title for an intergenerational game created by James and Joe Cox. Brothers and media artists, in partnership with their grandmother, Barbara.
The video game is a walkable simulation, a popular video game genre in which players explore 3D settings to unlock stories.
In the “Grandma Game,” participants are immersed in Barbara’s and her grandkids’ colorful paintings while listening to her tales about what the pictures and settings mean to her.
Barbara views it as a chance to teach and learn from her grandkids while preserving her family’s heritage.
History Involving Games
Several video games also appeared that cover a broader range of historical themes while still relying on extremely personal memories.
Memories of Manzanar and Tule Lake
It is the working title for a game that aims to emulate the experiences of the game designer’s Japanese American grandparents in a prison camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Players can steer their own journey in the game, engaging with other hostages and learning about firsthand encounters with historical events.
La Peur Bleue
This game narrates the story of the creator’s grandfather’s experiences in France during World War II. You may feel the war environment and connect with his grandfather’s sentiments by looking at specific, intense episodes from his grandfather’s history.
By employing virtual reality rather than simply a computer screen, players interact with artifacts in recreated settings and hear a grandpa reminisce about his history, giving another dimension to his historical experiences.
The creator’s grandmother’s voice recounts memories of her early life growing up on an occupied farm in Belgium during WWII.
As a player, you enter the “Brukel” farmhouse with your phone’s camera and a jumbled list of topics from your grandma.
You uncover her voice tapes in which she exposes her background to you by photographs of different artifacts that correspond to each aspect of her life.
Unfortunately, when it grows dark, you find yourself locked within the house as the spirits of the past return.
You must strive to outlive some of the horrific stories that the creator’s grandmother suffered through as an adolescent girl through a sequence of survival-based vignettes while progressively learning about how the war adversely affected everybody in the family.
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
While games like the “Call of Duty“, “Company of Heroes“, and “Medal of Honor” are all based on genuine WWII conflicts, this game went to great lengths to ensure historical authenticity.
The first feature in the series, “Road to Hill 30“, is based on the actual tale of the 502nd Infantry Regiment (502nd IR) of the legendary 101st Airborne Division, which landed behind enemy lines on D-Day.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Are you tired of World War II?
Let’s go back to the start of World War I. Ubisoft’s emotive adventure game “Valiant Hearts: The Great War” is set in the less-explored Great War.
Players take the roles of four heroes beginning in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia and France began deporting German citizens.
It stars a German soldier, a French prisoner of war, an American volunteer, a Belgian nurse, and a failed English pilot.
Many of the narratives are based on true events from the war. Additionally, all of the fights shown in the game are based on actual clashes.
Several encyclopedic tales from the conflict are included in Valiant Hearts and authentic battle images.
1979 Revolution: Black Friday
In this interactive adventure game by Ink Stories, players assume the character of Reza Shirazi. This ambitious photojournalist has returned to his homeland of Iran in the midst of the Iranian Revolution.
Players are supplied with a historical backdrop of real events and a few personal tales from people who lived through the revolution.
t the same time, they capture images of the fighting.
Assassin’s Creed III
With characters like Leonardo da Vinci, Pope Alexander VI, and the Black Beard making appearances, this game, and its series have always been based on genuine historical events.
The series’ third main part, on the other hand, mingles so many important historical events that occurred after the United States’ founding.
Connor, a growing assassin, participates in the Boston Tea Party, signing the Declaration of Independence, and many other revolutionary events throughout the game.
This stealth-action game from Replay Studios is about Violette Summer, a British spy operating deep behind enemy lines during WWII.
She attempted to destroy the Nazi war machine. Violette Szabo, a real-life saboteur, is the inspiration for this game.
Advantages To Different Age Groups
Playtesters have expressed their appreciation for the games’ capacity to interest players through the utilization of current technologies.
For qualitative research, we encountered several older folks who specifically sought out games that would add to their enthusiasm in the post-World War II era. Consider the following example:
- They had no recollection of the Second World War when they were children. However, what they recall is quite vivid. A bright flash of light and bursting sounds is what they remember. In contrast, some remember armed jets taken down as they flew over their neighborhood.
No matter how much they remember, they can still view it and feel it. It’s a thrilling adventure, and they may relive it by playing games based on it.
- It’s incredible to go to places in video games that they can go to in real life. They’ve never gone, yet they recognize the location from the game.
It’s incredible to be so realistic. They can virtually visit such locations and narrate their stories to their grandkids about their events.
Pre-teens may be the most involved with the games as a group, spending the greatest time playing them and perhaps returning numerous times over a single day.
Parents of these young gamers may be pleased with their children’s involvement in these games while learning about history. For example:
- They’re going to play video games anyhow, so it’s excellent that they’re interested in learning something new.
- Parents may value these games’ capacity to engage their children, particularly those on the autistic spectrum who are struggling in school.
Because kids are familiar with using a computer and mouse, which is significantly less stressful than being in a classroom, children will be more comfortable learning while playing the game.
It’s no accident that most of these genealogy-themed video game concepts revolve around wars. The 75th anniversary of World War II’s termination was in 2020.
As military ancestors and individuals who saw its horrors directly are aging rapidly, the recollections of their experiences are also fading away.
The risk that should be worried about is that societies may forget the lessons and pledges of “never again” learned from the past.
Aside from World War II, there are countless lessons from our forefathers and how they conducted their lives.
Our parents and younger generations may participate in interactive activities with the assistance of such games so that we can learn a lot from them as a family.
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