The Science Museum Group has launched Total Darkness, a digital storytelling experience which invites the player to solve a mysterious power cut in their hometown. The game, which is free to play, puts the player in control, allowing their choices and decisions to guide them through the story.
Available now, this interactive adventure game encourages young people to recognise how skills they use every day can help them develop their confidence in science thinking.
As each player navigates through the darkened streets of the town, armed only with a torch, they will face various challenges, from lost pets to melting ice cream, that require their skills of curiosity, communication and creative problem solving. Along the way they will encounter a cast of curious characters and discover new theories about what might have caused the blackout.
But with every step, their torch fades. The player must solve the mystery before the battery runs out. There are 5 theories to find and disprove in order to solve the power outage and win the game.
The player’s choices and actions throughout the game will score them curiosity, creativity or communication points. When the game ends, the skills the player has used will be revealed along with their science style, showing how they could put their skills into action in the real world.
Aimed at children aged 7-13, Total Darkness has been shaped and informed by the Science Museum Group’s work and research in informal science learning and science capital.
Susan Raikes, Director of Learning at the Science Museum said: ‘We hope that by playing the game, more people will see that science is a subject that goes beyond the classroom – it’s part of our everyday lives and something everyone can do and be a part of.’
Ben Templeton, Creative Director of Thought Den, said: ‘Too many young people are turned off by old science stereotypes but playing games is second nature. The skills they use every day in gaming apply throughout science, we just need to highlight the connection. So we made a game about science that doesn’t feel like a game about science.’
Total Darkness is a free online game playable on smartphone, tablet and desktop. Play now at totaldarkness.sciencemuseum.org.uk.