University launches online geography game

Allyson Chiu, Assistant Campus Editor

A new University-sponsored game will reward students with free pizza each quarter for knowing where foreign countries are located.

The Wildcat GeoGame launches Wednesday and will be available through Dec. 5, Medill Prof. Candy Lee said. The game will open at the start of every quarter and run through reading week. Players can access the game through The Daily’s homepage, and new questions will be posted every day.

Participants can only answer one question per day, but players can use search engines or take the entire day to answer if they wish, Lee said.

“You’re welcome to find the answer in whatever way you want to,” she said.

If students correctly answer 30 of the 55 questions this quarter, they will be rewarded with a free Blaze Pizza with unlimited toppings, Lee said. The game is open to anyone with a NetID, so faculty and staff can also play, but they will enter a drawing for their free pizzas.

“There’s plenty of research that shows millennials love to eat and love rewards,” she said. “We decided we would put them together and have a University-wide game that students could learn and at the same time have fun.”

The goal of the game is to educate people at Northwestern about the world, Lee said. Once participants locate a country correctly, a fact about the country will appear.

According to a 2006 survey published by National Geographic, over half of Americans aged 18- to 24-years old did not know Sudan was in Africa. Seven in ten could not find North Korea on a map.

“There’s a lot of appalling statistics, so this is an opportunity — in a playful way — to ensure everybody at the NU campus knows where every country is around the world and facts about those countries,” Lee said.

The game was created through the efforts of various University offices, Lee said. The library staff made the questions and facts, while Northwestern University Information Technology created the game software. The Buffett Institute for Global Studies and the Study Abroad Office provided funding for software development, and the Office of the Provost will fund the pizza.

Peter Kotecki contributed reporting.

Editor’s Note: Candy Lee is a member of the board of Students Publishing Company, The Daily’s parent organization.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated how students can earn a pizza. Students need to answer 30 questions throughout the quarter. The Daily regrets the error.

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