Serious Gaming: The Migrants’ Chronicles

The Migrants’ Chronicles uses gaming to teach the history of Luxembourg emigration & spark empathy for migrants of yesterday & today.

The educational role play game, spearheaded by the University of Luxembourg, lets 11–13-year-old students choose from three characters: a widow with young children, a wine-growing family from the Moselle or a craftsman from the North. As they race against the clock to journey to the US, they make critical decisions along the way—like what to pack or what harbor to depart from—each with their own set of consequences. The game, designed for tablets, is set in 1892, when the US opened Ellis Island, just before the first Chicago World’s Fair, which employed many Luxembourg tradespeople. With official launch planned for 2023, The Migrants’ Chronicle will be provided to schools & museums (in Luxembourgish & English) as an effective method for teaching history & life skills.
A collaboration between the University, Cologne Game Lab & Carleton College in the US, The Migrants’ Chronicles will not stop with Luxembourgish emigration. Future installments will tackle diverse immigrant experiences—modern emigration from the Middle East to Europe, for example. Developers can freely develop the open source project to pursue whatever stories they want to tell. With a total budget of roughly €500,000, the initiative received funding from Digital Luxembourg’s Innovative Initiatives & the Ministry of Education, with the majority of funding coming from the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte & the University of Luxembourg.