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The most popular subjects for children who have registered to play Iššūkis (The Challenger), the innovative computer game developed by the Utena A. and M. Miskiniai Public Library to encourage children to go back to school, are mathematics and languages.
The aim of the game is to encourage children who don’t want to attend school to learn and to communicate with teachers. Most of all, it aims to strengthen their wish to go to school. Through the game, the children earn points towards their official school marks and they are happy to be playing:
“I have come to play this game for the fourth time. I enjoy Numbers Laboratory. This one is the easiest for me. It’s interesting and you get additional points to the real grade. I have two stickers in mathematics from December,” said Deividas, 7th grade.
Gytis, 7th grade: “I have played this game since December. I enjoy mathematics most. I play in order to get a better mark…. I like the game, because I don’t need to listen to teachers and I can think on my own, you play and remember things. In the Tournament I’m the 8th place!”
Eivydas, 7th grade: “I’m playing for the first time. I’ve chosen Language Rainbow, it goes well. I like that I can get additional points to my real mark. The game is interesting. I came with my friends, who have played for a long time already.”
Genute, 7th grade: “I like History and Nature tasks most, because there are many interesting questions. I come here so that I can get better marks in school. The game is very catchy and I want to play more and more….”
Jone, 5th grade: “I like the Tournament most, because there are questions from all subjects. I come here not only because of marks, but also because I enjoy this game a lot.”
Tautvydas, 6th grade: “I come to play this game with my best friend. Sometimes he helps me, sometimes I help him. I’ve heard about the game in school from my teacher. It’s fun to play, because I get to know a lot.”
The children are supported by teachers, who act as ‘game coordinators’. According to the coordinators, the most popular games are ‘Numbers laboratory’ and ‘Language Rainbow’. They say this is because children struggle with mathematics and languages.
The coordinators say that the children have noticed that they are benefitting from the game: they are communicating with teachers, improving their results and having fun all at the same time. Although the aim of the game was to involve children who were getting low marks, the coordinators say that better students are playing it too.