Voices of Spoon River
An Instructional Game Using Interactive Fiction
Play the interactive text adventure that introduces students to the works of a great American poet, while at the same time, provides an opportunity to solve puzzles, talk to ghosts, and engage in a computer-based reading adventure.
Each poem is an epitaph of someone from the fictional town of Spoon River. There are many connections and stories that can be discovered from a careful reading of the individual poems. This is a game about resolving conflicts and uncovering mysteries relating to these epitaphs. Solving these conflicts requires good reading and problem solving skills.
Download the Voices of Spoon River Game
Download the .zip package containing the Voices of Spoon River game here. This contains all the necessary files to run the game on either PC or Mac. Those new to interactive fiction games should begin by reading the included readme file. This is a free download, and we hope you will share it with others. You can click on this link to play the game within a browser.
It has been years since anyone walked the down its dusty Main Street. Only the sound of the wind and the timeless trickle of the fountain in the cemetery make any noise at all. The town of Spoon River sleeps. But not all are at peace. Some say the town slowly faded away as the old people died and the young ones moved away. Others say it happened suddenly when the wells dried up. Somehow, Spoon River became a ghost town. And all the secrets would have faded, too, if it wasn’t for the epitaphs. You must examine the past and collect clues that will help you find and resolve the issues of those who still cannot rest.
What we hope people will take from VOSR
We want students to walk away from the Voices of Spoon River game with an understanding of the relationships and problems of the specific epitaphs including, an increased awareness and aptitude in exploring additional epitaphs, an increased appreciation for poetry, a sense of accomplishment and a smile.
Our main goal for this interactive environment is to allow students to explore the world the Edgar Lee Masters first wrote about in his Spoon River Anthology. Based on instructional game design theory, we wanted to create an environment where students have access to the actual epitaph text, a supportive framework to augment the students' grasp of the material, and puzzles and challenges that encourage students to critically examine the relationships and problems expressed in the Spoon River Anthology epitaphs.
"I want to use Voices of Spoon River for my class. Can you help?"
We are more than delighted to help you figure out what you need and how you might be able to use it. We are currently involved in a phase of study that will look at how students use the game and what we can learn by studying students as they interact with it. Are they learning anything? We aim to find out. See the project page for some further details.
Design and Development Team
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.