The students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras have designed and developed a digital game ‘IITM Covid game’ to generate awareness among the general public and children on the significance of government precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19 pandemic in different Indian languages. The IITM Covid Game can be accessed by the users from the homepage of www.letsplaytolearn.com. The users can find this game on the official website of IIT Madras under https://dost.iitm.ac.in/iitmdost/pages/game-corner.
This digital game is a browser-based game that can be played on various devices such as mobile phones, PCs, tablets, laptops, and more. IIT Madras issued a statement after unveiling its online game. This game has been developed by the students of the institute who opted for a 9-credit elective course named ‘Let’s Play To Learn’ provided during the January-May 2020 semester. Through this elective course – Let’s Play to Learn, the students were taught various game-based learning tools and innovative techniques.
Professor Preeti Aghalayam, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras, and the founder of LetsPlayToLearn, Mr. Kartic Vaidyanathan, and IIT Madras alumnus [BTech, Mechanical Engineering, 1996] were the co-facilitators for this general elective course. The students have translated this online game into different Indian regional languages to extend its reach to every individual across the nation. It includes Marathi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, Punjabi, Gujarathi, and more.
The students are planning to introduce more regional languages in the future in this game. Prof Preeti Aghalayam, IIT Madras emphasized the vital aspects of this game-based approach. She said, ‘The full credit for this game goes to our students. It is a matter of great pride for me that they conceived this, at a time when the world was reeling under the pandemic.’
She further stated, ‘The IIT-M Covid game is a small but very meaningful & engaging contribution, and it clearly exhibits how thoughtful and aware our students are!’ The students have developed this game inspired by the prevalent ‘Super Mario’ game. To gain points, the character in the game must follow all the COVID-19 protocols such as the use of sanitizers, masks, and more. If the character fails to follow the protocols in the game, points will be reduced to emphasize the consequence. The entire game goes on for 1 minute and the players must target to gain the maximum points. The users can play this game for free from the homepage of www.letsplaytolearn.com.
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