The Covenant Grants

Jewish Games Initiative 2.0: Jewish Mobile Phone GPS Game/Situated Documentary

Organization: ConverJent, New York, NY

Grant Year: 2013

Project Director: Rabbi Owen Gottlieb

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $33,000 (1 years)

Website: http://www.converjent.org/

Game Development
Informal Education
Professional Development
Technology

The 2011 grant was to fund the design, development, and marketing of the first release of a Jewish mobile phone game/situated documentary.

Working with project partners, ConverJent developed a video game, Jewish Time Jump, for use on the iPad and iPod which, when used on location in New York City, provides the users with location-specific opportunities to learn about events, personalities, and trends that impacted the development of the American Jewish community. Through the integration of GPS technology, and by leveraging an open-source platform, the game places participants in the role of reporters, following a story with interactive characters. A curriculum was also created to enhance the learning around the gaming experience.

Through the 2013 grant, ConverJent trained two cohorts of educators to run their own game day with Jewish Time Jump. The training involved pedagogical workshops using lessons developed in collaboration with the Jewish Women’s Archive, a game tutorial and a full play through of the game, and a discussion on the themes of the game and pedagogy for using it with students and families.

The game has promoted discussions between parents, children, and teachers about family histories. The inter-generational discussions included those on the topics of Jewish history, values, and connections to present-day global and local themes around labor and immigration.

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