Teaching & Learning

Wisconsin History: The Video Game

Wisconsin Public Television

History can be challenging, remembering so many names, dates, and places. But the video game Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case, created by UW–Madison’s Field Day Lab and Wisconsin Public Television (WPT), makes Wisconsin history “really cool” — at least according to fourth-graders like Camren Hokanson from Elmwood, Wisconsin.

The game commemorates the centennial of Wisconsin’s state capitol and is available for free on WPT’s website. The story line revolves around a young girl (Jo Wilder) and her adventures as she solves mysteries behind several historical state artifacts.

“Even kids who had a hard time reading loved interacting with [the game],” says David Gagnon ’04, MS’10 of Field Day Lab. “All the principles of the game — how you track down evidence, how you corroborate evidence, how you find experts to interview, how you find primary sources — we want those things to transfer into how kids interact with their own neighborhoods and communities.”

Published in the Summer 2019 issue


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