Winners & nominees 15th IMGA

Antura & the Letters (Arabic)

Studio/Developer
Wixel Studios, Video Games Without Borders, and Cologne Game Lab
Country
Lebanon - International (as our partners team is in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Syria and Morocco)
Website
Video of the game
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    About Antura & the Letters (Arabic)

    Background:
    Antura and the Letters is designed as a fun and engaging way to help Arab children learn how to read.

    The development team is located in several countries around the Mediterranean Sea, from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East.

    They collaborated with educators and psychologists to transform the primary school Arabic literacy curriculum into a journey in which kids progress at their own pace. Originally, the game was a response to the EduApp4Syria call, an initiative to spread literacy among migrants displaced by conflict.

    By winning the competition, the game was released in March 2017 as an open beta and its efficacy was put to the test in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco. With data from test partners and an independent third party analysis, the new and improved game was launched in February 2018.

    To support the drive for improving literacy worldwide, the entire project is open source and available on GitHub as a framework for adapting to other languages.

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    Game Design Approach:
    With a focus on accessibility for the entire MENA region, Antura teaches Modern Standard Arabic using an approach called “stealth learning”.

    The game uses skills such as aiming and precision to teach without it feeling like a lesson. Each game was crafted to induce the “flow state” among players, which has been observed to improve learning and reduce anxiety.

    This state is achieved by perfectly balancing player skill and game challenge. When put to the test, an independent analysis reported that the game “engaged children regardless of literacy level, age or gender”.

    Through this engagement, they found that the game can “provide effective literacy learning opportunities to Syrian and other Arabic speaking children”.

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    General Description:
    Antura and the Letters is a free mobile and PC game that mixes the best entertainment technology with specific Arabic pedagogical content in order to offer an engaging learning experience.

    The game was playtested in an open beta phase since March 2017 and verified independently to show improvement in the educational and psychosocial development of children.

    This final version is shaped by the feedback and data collected during the testing phase.

    The educational approach is a blend of phonics instruction and iterative pattern recognition, which creates a meaningful learning experience and explains the logic behind the Arabic language.

    Each step of the game focuses on a specific pedagogical objective and then reinforces the learning with rewards and assessments.

    These rewards unlock items to customise Antura, the fun-loving dog, who accompanies them on their journey to literacy.

    Once downloaded, the entire game can be played offline.

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    Features
    * 23 fun games teaching the principles of reading Arabic
    * 9 types of quizzes to specifically test and reinforce each subject a child learns
    * Customize Antura with over 500 different item combinations
    * 6 incredible worlds with different environments
    * 15 learning blocks in each world to guide a child’s progress step by step
    * All Modern Standard Arabic letters (including letter sounds, combinations and special cases)
    * More than 400 words

    What makes my game unique?

    Antura and the Letters is a Free and Open Source game that helps the 2 millions out-of-school Syrian children to learn to read autonomously, no matter where they are and with no need on internet connection. The game proved its positive impact both on Literacy and Psychosocial Wellbeing in an independent test in Azraq refugee camp (Jordan). The game is currently available only in Arabic but we consider it a tool for Global Literacy... and soon will be available in many more languages.

    Why could my game win an award?

    Mobile games have the potential to change the world for better and our game proved it's possible! It's the result of the collaboration of 3 partners (Wixel Studios, Cologne Game Lab and Video Games Without Borders) and an international Dev Team (60 people in almost 20 countries).