Danube Adventure: learning about the river in a playful way

Danube Adventure: learning about the river in a playful way

A new online game provides children with an exciting opportunity to engage with the Danube. A clever mix between a quiz and skills games, Danube Adventure is a new chapter in the success story of ICPDR education activities.

© ICPDR

Smart games like Danube Adventure can help children gain an understanding about the complexity of rivers and ecosystems, so that they in turn will care about protecting these precious resources as they become concerned adults.
© ICPDR

If children can understand the complexity of rivers and ecosystems, they will care about their protection and become concerned adults – this is the essence behind the ICPDR’s environmental education projects, and the reason for their impressive success. Now, nine years after the launch of the Danube Box teaching kit, another milestone has been reached: the launch of Danube Adventure, an online educational game.

Educational games – sometimes also called ‘smart games’ – have become increasingly popular with the rise of social media and smart phones. In Austria, ere has been significant interest in the game playDanube and a fan base has been built since its launch in 2011. Smart games rely on popular game designs to convey both stimulation and information.

For Danube Adventure, the objective is to build on the success of Danube Box and transfer the contents – knowledge about the Danube, water and the life that depends on it – to a contemporary medium.

A digital river with real results. Danube Adventure targets children between the ages of 10 and 14 years. The players can choose different avatars to take part in their Danube Adventure along the three segments of the Danube which they have to complete. On their upstream journey, they encounter multiple choice questions through which credits can be earned. Once a certain credit score is reached, more avatars become available for the player to use.

To keep the attention span high, the journey is interrupted by ‘skills games’, which provide additional challenges and learning opportunities. For example, in one of the skills games, players take a rest from their journey to catch quickly emerging bubbles representing objects that should not be in the river, such as plastic bags or broken bottles. Back on the river, a database with hundreds of questions teaches children about animals, plants, hydrology, history and geography of the river and the countries along its banks.

Danube Adventure can be played on both computers and phones, is platform-independent and suitable for slower internet connections. Just like Danube Box, the educational game is a product of the ‘Green Danube Partnership’ between the ICPDR and the Coca-Cola System. It was developed by the Hungarian digital media agency Person and will be presented in more detail in the next issue of Danube Watch.

© ICPDR

© ICPDR

Experience your own Danube Adventure at
www.danubeadventure.org!

Benedikt Mandl is the Technical Expert for Public Participation and Communication in the ICPDR Secretariat, and the Executive Editor of Danube Watch.

Next: Danube Watch 3-4/2015 - ICPDR MEETINGS

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