A few months ago, visiting a WWII Museum in Hamburg, I came across a Nazi Serious Game. I thought I had found a super-early form of Serious Game and felt like a gold miner but a few days ago, History slapped me again.
This time I was visiting London’s Kew Gardens. One of the main attractions there is the Kew Palace, home of George III family. Wandering around the rooms of the palace I found what seemed to be a kid’s toy. On reading the description of the item, I found it was a puzzle of Italy and had been used by the governess Lady Charlotte Finch as an early form of educating King George and Queen Charlotte‘s 15 children.
On further reading about this Lady Charlotte Finch, is easy to see that her unusual interest and dedication to Education fits in an early kind of innovative pedagogy.
The most interesting thing is not only the puzzle itself -with pieces forming the different part of Italy including its islands-, but the explanation the Museum has added beside it.
‘TITLE: Jigsaw Cabinet. c1765 – This cabinet belonged to Lady Charlotte Finch, the governess to George III and Queen Charlotte’s children. The Princes and Princesses were taught using the latest educational techniques. By the late eighteenth century it was thought that children learned best through play and these puzzle maps were used by all the royal children to help them with their geography’
So, as I always ask myself (and everyone who happens to be around)… Why Georgians had it so clear but we, 21st century people, still hesitate about Serious Games?