Legends of Alkhimia

1. The game

Legends of Alkhimia™ is a PC game designed for the Windows Vista platform (it is also compatible with Windows 7) and supports multi-player game play over a local area network. The game’s narrative places players in the roles of apprentices of a master alchemist who is attempting to save the town of Alkhimia from invading chemical-based creatures and other chemical disasters. The game is structured around six levels, each of which can be played by up to four players.

In each level, players will encounter a problematic situation (e.g. an invasion of hostile creatures, a toxic chemical spill). Players will attempt to inquire into the nature of problematic substances and experiment with them in an in-game virtual lab. An in-game notebook is also provided for players to structure their inquiry and for them to take notes. With deeper understanding about the substances, players proceed to accomplish their game missions and resolve the problematic situations, during which players also gather more information about the substances.

2. Learning activities

The Legends of Alkhimia™ curriculum is an eight-session learning program where students learn chemistry through the process of scientific inquiry. The Legends of Alkhima™ game is the cornerstone around which all curricular activities are structured. In the classroom, students role-play junior scientists mentored by expert scientists. A typical session begins with students reconnecting to their game-play and learning experience in the preceding levels. Then, they enter into the game world of Alkhimia and play a level of the game as a team of four apprentices of a master alchemist.

During game play, students encounter problematic situations, ask questions, propose hypotheses and conduct virtual experiments to solve the problem in game. Following game play, students analyze virtual data collected in game play and propose theories about the nature of in-game virtual substances via small group and whole class dialogic arguments. Incrementally, students construct their understanding of scientific inquiry and chemistry.

The learning programme is based on a “Perform-Play-Dialog” learning model, where students, by engaging in game play accompanied by dialogic discussions that help to make sense of what took place in the game world, manifest their understanding of chemistry phenomena in the game world of Alkhima by performing (by word and deed) the actions that lead to successful in-game and out-of-game outcomes.

3. Publications

Click here to see a list of publications based on this learning programme.

4. Game demo

Click here to proceed to download page.