Hellenic Open University
Image source: https://alternativeto.net/software/topia-world-builder/
Leisure App with educational potential
Name of the videogame/app
Topia World Builder
Name of the producer
Crescent Moon Games
How to find it
To be Purchased
Main technical requirements
Native Virtual Reality Support
6-11 years, 12-17 years
Use in Educational contexts
Degree of required tutoring
Autonomous use by students
Geography, Literature, Arts and Music
Topia World Builder is a world creation simulation. Students become "gods" and shape the land as they choose, by the use of touch controls, swiping their fingers to create mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. They can change the colours of the sky, water, land and watch trees grow, spawn thousands of animals and watch them live and die on the planet of their creation. Some animals are predators that attack prey species if put near each other. Others, depending on the environment they are placed in, might dash right into the ocean in a cult-like mass suicide.
Students can set up different landforms to learn about predators and prey, how animals can migrate and test whether it is possible to build a balanced ecosystem.
The introduction of fictitious species gives students the power to modify natural environments. This app offers a nice way to study cause and effect in a virtual simulation where students can modify the conditions.
Applications of Topia could increase students' computing and literacy skills.
Learning Object / Suggested activities with students
Topia World Builder can be used in a classroom as a starting point to many different subjects, such as Literature, Art and Geography. After watching the included tutorial, students can create their own world using a mobile device and their imagination. Creating worlds could make students feel a greater capacity to describe what they have created which can be harnessed in the writing process and they could then write a fiction story about their world.
The big ideas and concepts like sustainability, change and diversity could be studied and analysed through Topia. Other applications in classroom could include the use of Topia in a geography project/assignment to replicate parts of Earth.
Skills and competences
Skills and competences acquired
Digital skills, creativity, conceptual and ecosystem learning, literacy