Google Created a Game to Teach Us About Ancient Mesoamerica – PCMag

Have fun playing while you learn about the symbols, culture, and legends of an ancient civilization.
I’ve been working at PCMag since November 2016, covering all areas of technology and video game news. Before that I spent nearly 15 years working at Geek.com as a writer and editor. I also spent the first six years after leaving university as a professional game designer working with Disney, Games Workshop, 20th Century Fox, and Vivendi.
Google’s Arts & Culture division released its first game yesterday, which we can all play in a browser or on a mobile device to learn more about the world of ancient Mesoamerica.
The game is called The Descent of the Serpent(Opens in a new window), and it was created through a partnership(Opens in a new window) with Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology. Players are tasked with going back in time to collect hidden objects by traversing multi-level mazes set in jungle, mountain, coast, and cave environments. Along the way, Quetzals(Opens in a new window) are placed to help you through the mazes and bonus points can be earned by talking to them.
The development team filled the game with ancient knowledge about Mesoamerica’s symbols, culture, and legends. It’s complemented by a Google Arts & Culture website(Opens in a new window) offering further detail and insight into ancient Mesoamerica. There you can explore the symbols of the Piedra del Sol sun stone, have questions such as “What do crocodiles, earthquakes and water mean to the Aztecs?” answered, or learn how to become an Eagle Warrior.
Google says the game is aimed at all ages, and it seems perfect for a family to play together at home or a whole classroom of young students to explore with their teacher. As well as playing in a browser, Google made The Descent of the Serpent available through the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS(Opens in a new window) and Android(Opens in a new window), so you can enjoy it wherever you happen to be.
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I’ve been working at PCMag since November 2016, covering all areas of technology and video game news. Before that I spent nearly 15 years working at Geek.com as a writer and editor. I also spent the first six years after leaving university as a professional game designer working with Disney, Games Workshop, 20th Century Fox, and Vivendi.
I hold two degrees: a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Games Development. My first book, Make Your Own Pixel Art, is available from all good book shops.
Read Matthew’s full bio
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