Video Games to Teach Empathy


A screenshot of the iPad game If, which aims to teach kids how to navigate interpersonal challenges and failures.


Video Game Creators Are Using Apps To Teach Empathy


Much of the modern education reform movement has centered around the drive for data. Standardized tests now gauge whether children are at grade level seemingly every few months. Kids are observed, measured and sorted almost constantly.

In Silicon Valley, a $20 billion industry does much the same thing — but for a different purpose.

Video game design has become a data-driven industry where games evolve depending on how they are played.

Now, some game designers are hoping to take these new skills and apply them back to education. But not in a classroom — they want to teach with a game on an iPad.

Full Story HERE

Rabbi Gottlieb on WNYC’s New Tech City

New Tech City marquee

The Rabbi Who Codes

Wednesday, November 13, 2013l

Beyond bringing more Jewish people to synagogues, how can we engage and excite the next generation about the beauty and wisdom of Jewish culture and civilization?  Note:  Jewish Time Jump:  New York play time is an hour and a half and is a game that runs on the ARIS platform.  To get the game, go to the “Get the Game” page on ConverJent’s website.

(the original text has been edited by OG)

Jewish Time Jump: New York is an augmented reality iPhone/iPad game that aims to introduce players to Jewish-American historical events that took place in Greenwich Village in the early 1900s.

The narrative centers around the Uprising of 20,000, a strike of garment workers led in part by young Jewish women. It’s a location-based game, so as you walk around Washington Square, your phone vibrates, blinks and beeps to deliver clues to a big story.

“Part of the beauty of playing a GPS game is we’re standing on a site where the history happened,” says Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, the game’s designer. “We don’t usually think about it.”

Owen built the game with a team of about 20 artists, archival researchers and engineers. He says the target audience is what he calls “young learners” who may be looking for a way to connect with their Jewish heritage.