7 Generation Games flew to North Dakota this week to meet with school superintendents and teachers to install our educational video games in their classrooms and computer labs. Altogether we met with 52 teachers on our trip and and provided on-site training at five different schools. We were able to visit schools on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, which is only a few miles away from the Canadian border, and Spirit Lake Indian Reservation, which is located on Devils Lake.
Most of the schools were already using our first game that focuses on multiplication and division, so we provided them with an updated version that we modified based on teacher and student recommendations. And let me tell you, it was really exciting watching the kids play the new version of Spirit Lake: The Game and seeing their reaction to the new additions. We heard comments such as,
Hey, that was my idea and now it’s in a real video game!
And as AnnMaria pointed out, there is nothing more humbling than watching kids play the game that our entire team has spent countless hours creating.
We also took some time to talk with the classrooms of students that had played our games during the 2013-2014 school year to hear their feedback on what they would like to see us add in the next game. Some of their suggestions included:
- Can we have ice fishing in the next game?
- We should be able to decorate our own tipi anyway we want!
- What if we could pick our own outfits for the different characters in the game?
- Can we have our character sit by the fire and play a drum where we control the beat of the drum?
- There needs to be a trading post in the next game.
- There should be quicksand in the game because there is real quick sand in North Dakota!
The kids had some great suggestions and we can’t wait to get back to the office to discuss these (and 5 other pages of suggestions) with the rest of the 7 Generation Games team.
After school ended each day, we held an after school workshop where we invited the teachers to come and join us for a training session on Fish Lake and Spirit Lake: The Game. Dr. Erich Longie, 7 Generation Games Lead Cultural Consultant, opened the workshop by explaining that not only do our games teach math, but they also teach Native American culture. Each scene in the game has been checked for historical accuracy and has been verified. Teachers played the game for about half an hour and then we held a Q & A session to discuss how teachers can track student progress. Both pre- and post-tests are available to teachers along with weekly reporting to measure group and individual student progress.
After the teacher workshops ended, AnnMaria and I passed the time by visiting some pretty cool places in North Dakota. For example, have you ever been to the Geographical Center of North America?
Our second scenic stop was Sully Hill National Game Preserve to see the place where the elk and the buffalo roam. (No, we didn’t sing “Home On The Range” but I can’t promise that we didn’t think about it.)
We were also able to visit the International Peace Garden and have a picnic in the snow along the U.S. and Canadian border. Our official time visiting in Canada was 11 minutes.
We had a fantastic week taking in all of the culture and natural beauty of North Dakota. But the most rewarding part was learning how we can improve our games even more to help future generations and help them become successful leaders.
If you would like to purchase a copy of one of educational video games, or donate a license to a classroom or school, please visit our purchase page.