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The Walking Dead Helps Teach Ethics To Norwegian Students

I never would've imagined that a video game would be used in school. I mean, as a legitimate teaching tool.

Oh, but this isn't 1985 and times have changed. Students at Nordahl Grieg high school in Norway are playing Telltale's The Walking Dead game, and we're not referring to after-school leisure time. Nope, the award-winning narrative-driven series is part of the day's work for these lucky students.

NRK.no aired a brief piece about the class (cited by GameSpot) and it's pretty cool: Instructor Tobias Staaby said he wanted a "good catalyst for discussions about ethical dilemmas," and he knew that such dilemmas are a big part of Telltale's episodic series. Students played the game in class for two weeks and afterward, Staaby says his pupils were "contextualizing ethical dilemmas they probably wouldn't have thought about otherwise."

The students took anonymous polls during those two weeks, so they could see which decisions were the most popular. Then they discussed (I assume). How come we couldn't do this when I was a kid? What, you saying there wasn't an "ethical dilemma" when I had to decide whether or not to defeat Bowser face-to-face or run past him?

Related Game(s): The Walking Dead

Tags: the walking dead, the walking dead game, telltale games

1/19/2014 8:33:01 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (5 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 10:45:53 PM
Reply

That's pretty cool, I loved tackling all of the what ifs when I took philosophy, especially in morals. Instead of dealing with real world problems so much you often take on extremes as they would in Walking Dead.

We were once all asked about a set up in which the last city on earth was a paradise for all its people except for one child who would be held and abused in a dungeon. Nobody would know about it but if you helped that person or told anyone about them the paradise would vanish and everyone would disperse into a dangerous world.

I was the only one who said they would save the child.

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Banky A
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 6:48:06 AM

What if I told you (the child was a Hitler) & (said child would travel back in time to create games based on a female protagonist: "Lightning" in a renowned series)?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 10:59:15 AM

I'd question the veracity of your statement ;)

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Beamboom
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 4:51:34 AM
Reply

Good ole' Norway. I'm proud of my country. :)

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Underdog15
Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 9:20:52 AM
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I wasn't a philosophy student, but I did have to take an intro to philosophy course (as well as philosophy of sport and philosophy of education, but those were related to the phys. ed. piece).

It's funny because my wife took the intro course the year before me and hated it. She said it was so boring. And she says she doesn't really remember much from it anymore. I took it the year after with a different professor.

The very first class? Awesome. He walks in, does a magic trick (worked as a magician to pay his way through university. LOL!) and relates it to our understanding of enlightenment (smoke and mirrors and reality, etc etc) then moves on to another example and asks us about whether or not we've seen "The Matrix". Then he asks... red pill or blue pill? Our first assignment was a short essay of like 1k words or something on the red pill blue pill thing. He made the movie available for viewing on the library computers for a week.

Great way to start your first class of an intro to philosophy with a bunch of students who probably have no interest in philosophy. Turned out to be an awesome course! First assignment... watch "The Matrix". We had some pretty surprisingly good discussion in class about it, as well. I doubt many if any disliked the course afterwards.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/20/2014 9:23:37 AM

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