Online geography game returns after 31,000 interactions in first year

Elizabeth Byrne, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern students again have the chance to earn a free Blaze pizza by testing their world geography knowledge during the 2017-18 academic year.

Launched in October 2016, the Wildcat GeoGame quizzes participants on their geographic knowledge. Anyone with a valid NetID can play the game, which can be accessed through The Daily’s homepage. The game will be made available for Fall Quarter on Tuesday.

Participants can win a coupon for a free Blaze pizza if they correctly answer 30 questions in one quarter. Players can earn a free pizza once each quarter.

Medill Prof. Candy Lee collaborated with Northwestern University Library staff, NU Information Technology, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the Study Abroad Office and the Office of the Provost to develop the game.

Lee said she created the game to educate NU students, faculty and staff about the global community.

“History, politics and social justice lie in the root of geography and borders,” Lee said. “It’s important that we know where those borders are.”

From October 2016 to June 2017, the game had about 31,000 interactions, Lee said. This year, Lee said she hopes to reach more of the NU community, especially students.

Lee said it’s beneficial to reward students for correctly identifying worldly borders, even if they have to Google the answer, because they will learn from the game.

“When I first offered (the game), one of the comments I got was, ‘If I’d known that this country was next to this country, then I would’ve understood the refugee problem better,’” Lee said. “So this gives students a chance to really understand the major issues of our time.”

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

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Twitter: @lizbyrne33