game based learning

Trace Effects: 3D Language Learning Game - Archived

game based learningIn response to the White House challenge to federal agencies to create games that have a positive impact on learning, health, and social change, The SuperGroup and U.S. Department of State have launched Trace Effects, an on-and-offline interactive 3D video game experience designed for students ages 12-16 throughout the world who want to expand their English skills and learn about American culture.

Promoting the learning and teaching of American English around the world is an integral part of the Department of State’s efforts to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. With Trace Effects, the U.S. Department of State worked with The SuperGroup to create something groundbreaking, that would combine gaming and immersive language learning techniques to “change the game” with a long-term, first-to-market product.

Students experience Trace Effects  through the eyes of Trace, a university student from the year 2045 who has accidentally traveled back in time to the present. In order to get home, he must complete a challenging mission to change the future for the better by helping six young people accomplish great things that will positively impact the future.

Students take a virtual journey through the United States, traveling to locations, including Kansas, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  Instead of memorizing and reciting new words over and over, students immerse themselves in real situations and learn English in context.

Trace Effects introduces users to American society and explores themes related to entrepreneurship, empowering women, community activism, science and innovation, and environmental conservation.

“To make language learning effective for the new generation of international students, an enjoyable, and robust environment is needed – one where they can interact with virtual characters, and learn from ‘real life’ situations,” said Brad Lewis , Founding Member of The SuperGroup.  “This interactive experience allows students to learn English communicatively, and, equally important, to learn about American culture through an educational process that feels natural, not artificial.”

Trace Effects is available for free online, as well as in a DVD executable format for both teachers and learners. Students explore American culture through puzzles, activities, and adventures in an interactive world.  Trace Effects answers the widespread demand for English language learning opportunities by providing an educational game that complements classroom instruction with interactive learning elements, including:

  • 7 chapters of game play in a virtual world
  • 28 practice activities (four for each chapter) that complement and reinforce vocabulary and themes from the story
  • 4 multi-player practice activities
  • Comprehensive teacher and student manuals
  • 7 graphic novels for extension activities
  • Merriam-Webster® American English dictionary integration
  • 2 mobile games for Android (played 1.7 million times in the first 30 days)
  • 1 text based game for standard cell phones
  • An offline installable version of the game for Windows and Mac for classrooms not connected to the internet
  • A DVD Video walkthrough of the gameplay for classrooms with only television and no computers or internet
  • Design and Development of marketing support materials

Trace Effects was test launched in Peru, Columbia, and Indonesia with positive results and student feedback.  It has since been launched worldwide through, the recently launched American English portal developed by the U.S. Department of State.

To experience the game, visit

Source: Press Release