There’s A Badge for That

In this presentation, a formative researcher, social historian, and game developer will discuss how they created a badge system for Mission US: The Flight to Freedom, an educational game developed for middle school American history classes. Students play the role of a 14-year old runaway enslaved girl who must escape a Kentucky plantation and remain free in an Ohio border town in the 1850s. We will discuss the challenges of creating a badge system to reward “acts of resistance” and integrating the system into game play such that it helps students build historical understanding about enslaved persons’ lives. Additionally, we will talk about techniques for aligning and integrating learning objectives, educationally and personally meaningful game play, and badges that signify both.