Voice-activated journey to the past teaches history

July 2, 2019 | Encyclopaedia Britannica

Children and families can immerse themselves in ancient history with Guardians of History, a new interactive voice-activated game from Encyclopaedia Britannica, where players learn about the past through an engaging time-travel adventure and save history from forces that threaten it.

Free to use on all supporting devices, Guardians of History is one of the first voice-driven games that blends premium audio, engaging choice-driven gameplay, and educational content in one package.

The first episode, “The Olympia Obstacles,” is a fun, choice-driven experience where the player travels back in time to the ancient city of Olympia, Greece. The game’s setting, content, characters, story, and imagery were carefully developed by award-winning writers and expert editors who drew from the Britannica’s historical archives to ensure that the game’s fictional narrative is historically accurate. The result is a riveting 40-minute audio experience that teaches the player about Ancient Greece through dialogue, sound, and meaningful choices. Its eight different endings also stoke curiosity and make the game replayable over and over.

Guardians of History marks the 250-year-old Britannica Group once again as a market leader and innovator, a position it’s occupied many times before, as when the company created the first digital encyclopedia, in 1981, and the first encyclopedia on the Internet, in 1994.

“This is a new frontier of learning, where children enjoy fun-filled dynamic adventures, learn about past civilisations and interact with characters to develop social-emotional skills,” said Karthik Krishnan, global CEO of the Britannica Group. “Voice experiences and games are two of the ways that technology, used effectively, can help enhance learning inside and outside classrooms. Britannica is excited to blend modern-day technology and science fiction concepts to continue to inspire curiosity and the joy of learning in new and engaging formats.”

Guardians of History is available on all Alexa and Google Assistant voice-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo family of products, Google’s Home line of products, and third-party voice devices like the Sonos lines. The game can also be played on any smartphone, either through the Alexa app or the Google Assistant app. Vivid illustrations created from reference images also display on Echo Show and Google Home Hub screens to enhance the learning experience.

Features include:

  • Decision-making storytelling where the player’s choices direct the game world and the ending of the story;
  • Forty minutes of premium, audio-driven gameplay, giving users plenty to hear, see (on devices with screens), and learn from;
  • Historically accurate content tailored for learning and compiled by the editorial experts at Encyclopaedia Britannica;
  • Immersive interaction with historical characters, locations, objects and events;
  • Supporting visuals and illustrations on screen-enabled devices like the Echo Show, Echo Spot & Google Home Hub;
  • Online components that can be unlocked with a code both during and after completing the voice experience.

The second episode of Guardians of History is currently in production for a release later this year. Additionally, Britannica plans to introduce new voice-activated products as voice-technology adoption expands. For more information on Guardians of History, visit adventure.britannica.com.

Guardians of History is the latest digital initiative from Britannica that provides educational and entertaining experiences while also combatting the epidemic of online misinformation. In the past year, the company has partnered with technology leaders like YouTube and Samsung and was also named EdTech Digest’s #1 Company to Watch. With Guardians of History, Britannica adds another dimension – “Be entertained” – to its brand promise “Save time. Learn more. Be sure.”

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