Today (19th September 2011) sees the launch of Lives at War, our groundbreaking new game aimed at secondary school children learning about life on the Home Front during World War 2.
Developed in partnership with Lighthouse, with funding from the Digital Film Archive Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lives at War is a virtual world presenting a fictitious Brighton street of the 1940s. The environment uses game mechanics to draw ‘players’ in to the lives and experiences of air-raid survivors, through a number of task-based activities.
Much of the content of the game has been developed with a group of school children aged 14 – 15 working with older people from Brighton who remember the war. Together they have visited museums, galleries and archives, participated in creative workshops, and investigated artifacts and archive films from Screen Archive South East.
We’ve been planning this project with Lighthouse for almost two years now so it’s wonderful to reach the point where we can finally show it off. When we first started scoping the game, browser based 3D worlds were in their infancy but as the project has developed so has the technology. But this process has been about so much more than the technology and one of the most rewarding aspects has been the involvement of the schoolchildren at each stage of the game’s development from researching real life experiences that drive the storyline to producing moodboards for the creation of avatars.
The launch takes place at Lighthouse in Brighton and is part of the month-long Brighton Digital Festival so if you're reading this on the 19th and happen to be in Brighton this evening come along and say hello!