Companions of Aeneas: Gamifying Intermediate Latin

Maxwell Teitel Paule
Abstract of Article: 

In order to increase Roman cultural content in an intermediate Latin course on Vergil’s Aeneid at Earlham College, the author introduced elements of role-playing games into an otherwise traditional translation class. Students developed individual characters whose details were informed by weekly research projects on different aspects of Roman culture. An additive grading system was also incorporated to enable students and their characters to track progress in terms of “leveling up.” This paper explains the implementation and mechanics of this gamification and concludes that the addition of some gamified courses into classical curricula would prove beneficial; the strengths of gamification (increased cultural content and student motivation) compare favorably to its weaknesses (decreased language content, increased preparation time), especially in departments that have limited course offerings.