Experience the Culture of China—Virtually, 6-12

As a follow up to the recent summer Olympics in Beijing, students can explore a new, free Web-based role-playing game to learn more about the culture and languages of China. Called Zon/New Chengo, the multiplayer game was created by Yong Zhao, Michigan State University distinguished professor of educational psychology and technology. A native of a poor, remote area of the Sichuan Province, he has become a highly influential researcher in Chinese education. The goal for the player is to fare well and advance socially and economically, with players moving from “tourists” to “residents” and finally to “citizens” of modern China. At the different stages, players encounter quests, have access to learning materials—including live Chinese tutors—and are able to organize and participate in social activities.