Posted on April 6, 2017 by Scot Allen
By Kerri Schweibert
Currently the IB juniors are studying Persepolis, a graphic memoir that recounts Marjane Satrapi's tale of growing up during the Iranian Revolution. After watching a historical documentary and reading the text, students explored the Iranian Revolution from a different perspective: a Telltale-style video game entitled 1979 Revolution: Black Friday. Students worked in pairs making decisions as Reza, a photographer turned revolutionary.
Josh Matsumoto stated, "Because of the immersion that the game provided, the intense emotions that you would imagine a person felt during the Iranian Revolution were amplified and made clear. I found it hard to make choices as Reza because I had a constant fear of how my decisions would endanger my life, as well as the lives of my friends, which is an experience I could imagine was common among the revolutionaries."
It was an exciting and fresh way to teach students more about the Iranian Revolution. The major lasting impact of using the game in the classroom is students' ability to better understand what the citizens of Iran had to endure during that time period. In Wanda Schlumpf's words, "I felt like I was thrown into the revolution and could begin to empathize with the Iranians in doing all they could to survive."
Special thanks to Brian Grantham, Tony Johansen, Dave Wee, and Kathy Wheeler. It was truly a team effort!