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#lastseen

An immersive educational game that puts you in the shoes of an investigative blogger uncovering the history of the NS-era deportations in Germany, while highlighting the importance of history preservation for our present.

Made by &why agency
Project shots
First person view of the web gameplay
A clue overlay when a player discovers it in the room.
Visual journaling of historical images with keywords highlighted.
Modular & personalized blog post as the final result of the game.
Backend shots
DatoCMS model that works for different image series.
Each series has a set of data that drives the games content and investigation.
The main images of the game with added context and keywords required to unlock the game's rewards.
Keywords that are important for each image, and it's metadata edited by historians an experts.
About the project

Project Overview

The #lastseen team tasked us with answering the question:

How can we encourage young people to learn for their future by remembering the horrors of our past?

Based on the fantastic work they have done collecting and analyzing the images from the deportations in Nazi Germany, they wanted to show younger generations how important these images are for preserving our past and how much we can learn from them for our present and future.

Our work needed to be meaningful, educational, and engaging at the same time, while also taking an emotional topic and making it palatable and relevant to younger generations.

We developed a web experience from carefully curated historical photographs and documents with the help of historians, educators, and test users. We modeled the interactions with typical gaming tropes in mind to get away from the typical history class books on the subject matter and create something that gives them easy access to this critical topic.

Players entered a dusty attic to find a series of images relating to a deportation event. The experience invites and rewards them for careful examination of the material, and for noticing important details that are not evident at first sight.

Clues placed around the room encouraged exploration, and made the users aware of personal stories and events surrounding the image series, helping them understand the social dynamics of the time.

With each discovery, users unlock the content of a blog article that is being written and expanded based on their curiosity and efforts. This article reveals the currently known stories from the images.

DatoCMS Integration

DatoCMS was the perfect tool to organize the vast amount of information that the investigative team at #lastseen wanted to convey through the game. It’s incredible versatility allowed us to use it in non-traditional patterns, while putting the content editing responsibility squarely on the subject expert’s hands.

DatoCMS powers the following:

  • Content for each investigative series with modeled data, allowing us to make the game modular for the future.

  • Historical Image hosting with the required metadata for the game.

  • Clue objects and information that users can access when they make a discovery.

  • A blog structure for the final result of the game that changes content depending on the user’s findings.

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Tags
DatoCMS Implementation
Content Modeling
Multichannel & DX
Next.js