Groundbreaking Mobile GPS Game Brings New York Jewish History to the Ipad Generation
Source: The Jewish Week
Jewish Time Jump: New York a mobile GPS “augmented reality” game and interactive story was recently released by Converjent, a nonprofit launched three years ago that nurtures, develops and spreads ‘seriously fun’ games for Jewish learning.
Through virtual conversations with historic figures like Rose Schneiderman and Abraham Cahan as well as a cast of fictional characters, “Jewish Time Jump” players — ostensibly reporters for the fictional “Jewish Time Jump Gazette” — race around Washington Square Park and simulate traveling through time to gather details and perspectives related to early 20th-century Jewish immigration, women’s and labor history.
In a 21st-century twist on the scavenger hunt, players find the requisite clues by physically moving to locations inside and across the street from the park, which is adjacent to the building that once housed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. (Today it, like most of the buildings surrounding the park, is part of New York University.) As players move from location to location, archival photos, events and characters appear on their mobile devices, triggered by GPS technology. Students also view historical documents — such as old Yiddish newspaper pages (with translations) and flyers — on their mobile devices as they play.The goal is to spark kids’ interest in and understanding of New York Jewish history.
Available for free at converjent.org, “Jewish Time Jump” is targeted to fifth-to-eighth graders and their families. Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, Converjent’s founder and director is hoping families and tourists will play it independently and that teachers will incorporate it into their Hebrew school courses.
Read the story at The Jewish Week.