Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology

Aug 17, 2020 2020-08-17

Mobile Learning

Augmented-Reality App Relating a Story of WWII Japanese Internment

East of the Rockies is an experimental augmented-reality (AR) story written by 85-year-old Joy Kogawa, one of Canada’s most acclaimed and celebrated literary figures. The story is told from the perspective of Yuki, a 17-year-old girl forced from her home and made to live in the Slocan internment camp during the Second World War. As Yuki and her family adjust to their new reality inside the camp, they struggle to make life as normal as possible. Users follow the story by tapping, swiping, inspecting, and zooming in on key elements within each scene. Every interaction activates a piece of scripted narrative voiced by Kogawa’s own granddaughter. Spoken in the first person, each line illuminates a different aspect of life in the camp, as documented in Yuki’s journal. East of the Rockies can be played in non-AR mode and in cutting-edge AR technology to bring impactful storytelling into the palm of users’ hands. Story-driven interactions emphasize narrative elements by showing everyday life in the Slocan internment camp. Users can paint alongside Yuki’s younger brother, Tomio, or find solace in the camp’s bathhouse, for example. Whether or not users enable AR, East of the Rockies tells an important story with innovative and artful technology. East of the Rockies is a coproduction of Jam3 and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Cost: $5.49

Plus: Users can go more in-depth with the East of the Rockies High School Learning Kit. NFB Education uses an inquiry-based learning approach, which poses questions and scenarios to help students understand and go deeper into the experience of life in the Slocan Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.

Virtual Reality • Augmented Reality Reading/English/Language Arts Social Studies Social Media

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