Game App Teaches Kids Serious Lessons
There’s no disputing that video games and apps are capable of commanding and holding the attention and interest of kids. A new game seeks to leverage that interest to teach valuable lessons on the power of love and forgiveness.
“Maggie and Her Magical Glasses” is an iPad app for children ages 5 to 10 that plays like paging through a story. In the storyline, Maggie’s special glasses allow her to see everything around her through a lens of love and forgiveness. Each episode features Maggie using her magical glasses to tackle a problem or resolve a conflict, moving difficult situations towards love and forgiveness.
This app was made in partnership between developer Jumping Pages and The Fetzer Institute and is currently being featured at The DuPage (Illinois) Children’s Museum as part of their XOXO exhibit. It is available for purchase for $2.99 through the iTunes store.
The interactive digital platform will engage children in problem solving and developing their awareness of love and forgiveness in action in the world around them through a creative storyline and imaginative characters.
The app is part of a growing area of educational gaming known as the serious game approach. Lessons in these games often hinge on what is known in game theory as the prisoner’s dilemma—the question of whether to back down, cooperate, or stay silent. Exploring the possibilities opened up by love and forgiveness for backing down without losing in practical yet hypothetical situations is the strength of these digital platforms.
Said parents-choice.org in recognizing the app as a top choice: “The utterly charming Maggie takes young screen swipers through a story of forgiveness and understanding. Through pitch perfect narration, appealing illustration, and animated surprises, readers learn how important it is to try and see others from their point of view.”
A Teacher Toolkit will provide background for educational use of the app and will allow teachers and parents to share their reflections as well. A focus group with children will pilot the app and encourage their reflection, awareness and discussion about love and forgiveness in action.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on the Humanities.