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Design • Games • Narrative • 2023


US Geography Anagrams

Concept Overview

This game, through its use of fun characters and settings, aims to create an immersive experience for children to learn about US geography. American Hustle provides children with engaging opportunities to expand their US geography knowledge while solving anagrams.

Statement of Need

Geography is a useful topic, but often under-emphasized in school. It can also be difficult for students to learn about geography when they are not traveling to the environment being described. Through this immersive game, learners can expand their knowledge of US geography in a relevant setting, all while practicing their problem solving skills via fun anagram challenges.

Concept Description

American Hustle is a classic fish out of water story, featuring lost animals trying to learn about US geography so they can fit in with their surroundings. The game will enable learners to solve various word scrambles to help their chosen animal figure out where it is located. Each level will explore a different state by featuring a new setting and fresh set of activities to complete. For example, an early level will be the Sporty Scramble level. As this level takes place in the tropical Florida heat, the anagrams are embedded within several outdoor activities, including swimming, running, and playing soccer.

As the game progresses, levels will get more difficult. At the beginning, learners will simply have to unscramble the state name. On later levels, learners will need to start unscrambling capitals and landmarks to try to guess the appropriate state. Future versions of the game could focus on countries or perhaps other types of puzzles.

Target Audience

The target learners for this project are English-speaking children, approx. age 8-11:

At this age, children know how to spell, but they will not have had too much practice deciphering anagrams. This game will thus provide them with solvable challenges. Kids will likely be drawn to the game's bright colors, cute characters, and fun tasks. American children may have an easier time playing this game than children from other countries, as American kids will be more familiar with the states. However, this game could also be a nice way for children from other countries to learn about the USA.

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