The Game

Discover Babylon TM is an educational video game that features Mesopotamia’s diverse contributions in writing, mathematics, literature, and law. The game is a joint project of the Federation of American Scientists Learning Technologies Project, UCLA’s Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative, Escape Hatch Entertainment, and the Walters Art Museum. Located in what is now modern Iraq—Mesopotamia was the birthplace of written language, the first cities, the concept of the 360° circle and the 24-hour day, not to mention the earliest known laws and literature—yet its contributions are not well known to many Americans. Targeted at ages 8 –14, Discover Babylon TM will use sophisticated video gaming strategies and realistic digital environments to engage the learner in challenges and mysteries that can only be solved through developing an understanding of Mesopotamian society, business practices, and trade.

Features include:

  • Accurate historical and scientific information
  • 3D photorealistic simulations of temple complexes that will allow the user open-ended exploration and discovery
  • Contextualization of museum artifacts used by avatars in the virtual environment
  • Multi-player game technology
  • Question & answer management tools to stimulate learning
  • Compelling, age-appropriate challenges and assignments for the player

Discover Babylon TM will facilitate public understanding of the significance of this material for world culture, science and mathematics. It will explore new ways to reassemble and restore the material culture now spread across many different museum and library collections, contribute new research on information management, and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

12 responses to “The Game”

20 10 2008
Mike Irby (20:14:35) :

I downloaded the game but I keep getting this error: Device 3D creation failed Hwerr= Invalid Call, Swerr not available. Can you help me please?

28 04 2009
Ian Thomson (07:28:08) :

The game looks great and as a fan of video games and ancient cultures I think this is a wonderful idea, but I have a few problems with the controls. If it was possible to reconfigure them, this would help. I understand the need to have a standard setting for public computers, but the only similarity with other (more familiar) PC action games is the WASD keys for movement. The S key doing a 180 instead of backpedaling really does not help video game players except to disorient someone who has been playing 3d games as Wolfenstein 3d and Doom. If anyone at the office has played the game Aliens vs Predator 2, when playing the Alien I turn off the arrows that indicate where the floor is when wall-crawling so they don’t distract me — disorienting me in a game is quite an accomplishment. Also, it is a bit of an arbitrary limitation that a full keyboard be required, that being the only reason why this game isn’t (as readily) playable on a laptop. It would also be nice to have some sort of mouse support, maybe to look around (especially up or down) perhaps in conjunction with a couple of keys for sidestepping. Being able to use the mouse to select answers during the quiz parts would also help. A first-person view (rather than a third-person over-the-shoulder view) would also allow the player to feel a bit more involved, allow them to look at stuff a little more closely, and it would aid in navigation.

Again, I think the game is a wonderful idea, these are the only problems I have. I realize I am not the target audience, but I do play plenty of video games. Thanks for the game and for reading this.

8 06 2009
Michael Venables (02:37:23) :

I am an educator in social studies at the elementary level. Can you tell me if you are re-releasing this game.

Please advise.

Thank you,

Michael Venables

22 10 2009
brit (14:52:03) :

umm… cool?

31 01 2010
Tim Ashton (11:42:19) :

More schools should adopt games like this into the classroom for educational purposes. I remember the joys of playing Oregon Trail in school. I think a lot of students would enjoy this type of learning. Great article – Tim

17 02 2010
Videogames têm papel importante na educação « Console Acadêmico (15:53:38) :

[…] e “FIFA 10”, educadores e pesquisadores estão esperando jogos como “Immune Attack”, “Discover Babylon” e “Astronaut: Moon, Mars & […]

17 02 2010
Videogames têm papel importante na educação « Console Acadêmico (16:28:19) :

[…] e “FIFA 10”, educadores e pesquisadores estão esperando jogos como “Immune Attack”, “Discover Babylon” e “Astronaut: Moon, Mars & […]

22 01 2011
Sam (10:55:00) :

I was one of the original game testers. I see that the bugs we originally encountered have still not been fixed. What a shame! I really think this game has potential if it gets fixed and updated a bit. Also, a re-release with new levels was promised in 2007, but this is still the demo version. What happened?

23 10 2011
Heeb (18:30:23) :

Why hasn’t the new version with more levels been released? I really wanted to see the rest of the story… :(

10 11 2011
World History Tools | 21st Century Skills (15:47:27) :

[…] The Game | Discover Babylon […]

23 05 2012 (01:16:47) :

You know, I used to love educational games growing up and I think there should be more of them. Just because you are learning something does not mean that it cannot be fun. These type of educational resources should be encouraged more often in schools and homes.

14 01 2013
Voronwe[MQ] (15:58:52) : hits the bull’s eye.

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