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Description: True to the life of the Medici, students must balance relationships with powerful city-states, merchant factions and the Catholic Church to build and maintain a financial empire and play a pivotal role in the creation of famous artworks, monuments and institutions of the Renaissance. By following the historical footsteps of the Medici family, students level up to the status of “Mecenas,” an influential patron of the arts, and experience the political, social and economic factors that shaped the era. The game features the most influential artworks of the 15th and 16th centuries, including more than 130 pieces of art by over 70 artists.
Skills and Ideas Taught: Gameplay engages and immerses students from the Medici perspective to demonstrate the interconnectedness of art patronage,economics and political pressures surrounding the commissioning of famous artworks of Italian Renaissance.Given a variety of scenarios, learners will:
• Develop interconnected networks of Renaissance economics, art patronage and production, including art markets and collecting, conventional banking, trade and alternative banking practices such as usury.
• Develop strategies to evaluate the impact of art and architecture patronage on generating spiritual and religious status and social and political prestige.
• Distinguish between major artistic media, forms, techniques, and theoretical and critical concepts to develop a more holistic interpretation of the Renaissance era.
• Leverage historical circumstances, conditions, and events surrounding art and architecture and their commission.
Goal or Challenge: Too often in art history courses, students memorize works of art without understanding their context. ARTé: Mecenas helps them grasp the complexities of the works of art, the role of art given societal norms, and the overall relevance to the people and policies of the time period. The game provides an immersive experience to help students better apply and analyze the effects of complex social, cultural, economic, political and ecclesiastical networks on artwork, monuments and institutions.
Primary Audience: ARTé: Mecenas is targeted toward faculty and students engaged in traditional college-level art history and art survey courses. ARTé: Mecenas adds dimensions of contextual analysis to the art history survey course that will serve a variety of students. Additionally, instructors and students were tightly integrated into Triseum’s design, development and testing process, ensuring that ARTé: Mecenas meets their needs from a teaching and learning perspective. In addition, we have seen the course be applied to economics, world history, and language arts.
Assessment Approach: There are four levels within the game, each with a unique game play objective and learning perspective. To progress in the game, players are met with a series of messages pertaining to historical events and art commissions during the Renaissance. Players can choose their course of action, either follow history or create their own path. If they choose their own path, they will learn the historical events as they play, but if they follow the course of history they will be more successful with the level and learning objectives.
In addition, the Codex is an in-game resources that players can use to reference art works encountered in the game, determine level progress, and monitor factions within the game.A series of hooks and analytics are programmed into the game and are reported via the instructor portal. These analytics capture data in time, attempts, wealth, soul, and reputation, which are important factions that must be balanced within the game. The instructor portal provides class and student game play statistics to monitor student progress and engagement. The instructor portal also displays a game statistic called power, which is a calculation of following historical context and selecting appropriate art works for the messages presented in-game.
Game Engine: Unity
Operating System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, OS X Sierra and higher, Web is supported in Google Chrome
Special Hardware: None