OCTOBER 07, 2010
Grant will support the development of a social networking game about international politics and world affairs
October 7, 2010 – WASHINGTON, DC – iCivics Inc. today received a grant from the ESA Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the U.S. computer and video game industry. The grant will enable iCivics to develop the project’s first Facebook-based game, Diplomat. In Diplomat, players will simulate international negotiations and learn about global political interactions.
“We appreciate the entertainment software industry’s commitment to innovative educational games,” said iCivics executive director Abigail Taylor. “The development of Diplomat will help students better understand global relations through a medium that is fun and familiar to them. It has the potential to reach millions of students in the U.S. and around the world.”
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics out of a concern that students do not have the knowledge they need for informed civic participation and leadership. In our globalized environment, international politics and foreign relations are at the forefront of public debate. To effectively participate in this debate, American students must have an understanding of basic geography and international relations.
Digital media, including games, can serve as an effective bridge between in-classroom and after-school learning. As an interactive online game, Diplomat will improve student knowledge of nations around the world and how countries relate to each other. Through Facebook, students will play a foreign ambassador of a country of their choice. They will work with other countries and international agencies to further their government’s interests in trade, humanitarian efforts, and military endeavors. Diplomat will teach students about foreign policy, diplomatic dialogue, and the role of non-governmental organizations in today’s world.
“We are proud to partner with organizations like iCivics, which are making a difference in the lives of America’s youth,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of the ESA Foundation. “In addition to tackling important issues, our partners are contributing to a more digitally advanced generation.”
The other eight organizations receiving grants from the ESA Foundation are as follows: Case Western Reserve University, Children’s Health Education Center, The Cooper Institute, Edheads, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, HopeLab, Web Wise Kids and World Wide Workshop.
iCivics (www.icivics.org) is the vision of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to create an interactive program to engage middle school students in civics. iCivics.org is a free, web-based curriculum developed by education, law, entertainment, and technology experts across the country.
Jeff J. Curley