On Friday, March 17, 2023, the Adventist University of São Paulo (UNASP) Engenheiro Coelho campus inaugurated Iudoteca, a space for religious games for the institution's students and community. Named "Save Point," the space promotes a moment of leisure so friends can meet and develop both academically and spiritually.
The program began with the words of UNASP's vice-rector for research, Dr. Allan Novaes, who thanked the supporters and the main contributors of the institution that made this dream possible after three years of much planning.
Impact on Students' Lives
Novaes explains why the main approach of this project was structured through games: "They are one of the most relevant and efficient tools in education. Teaching through gamification in schools and colleges has shown better rates in grades, assessments, and exams."
Novaes adds, "Today, there is a lot of screen excess that causes damage to health, sometimes in mental aspects. So, opting for analog games is a way to help those who like to play to dispense with screens for a while, besides providing contact with real people."
The purpose of the playroom is not only educational but also spiritual. The campus director of spiritual development, Pastor Danny Bravo, emphasizes the importance of the religious focus. "We want to show how we can enjoy the Sabbath in a happy way, but also according to [God’s] plans. Through the games, we can understand a lot about the Bible and the Christian life." He also points out that "starting next quarter, we will have a Sabbath School to develop this community, to form a niche, and create this identification.”
For student Lívia França, the initiative is very positive. "UNASP needed a space like this, because now we will enjoy it in a fun way, studying more about the Bible and learning more about Christ," she exclaims.
Operation and Relevance of the Game Room
During the week, teachers will be able to schedule time to give classes, workshops, lectures, and training sessions. Students of pedagogy, pursuing a master’s degree in education or similar fields, will be the target audience of this space so that in a dynamic and relaxed way, they can apply the content.
Dr. Novaes comments that it will be an educational space: "We will develop prototypes and play tests where gamification and game design students will be able to put into practice what they have learned in class, in addition to the game research that will be done by the master's students in education."
On Sabbaths, the ludoteca will be open so students and the community can get together and, through games, learn more about the Bible and show it is possible to have fun on Sabbath within divine parameters.
The institution's director, Dr. Carlos Ferri, explains the relevance of this space for the campus: "Here, it becomes a meeting point. This is very interesting for UNASP Engenheiro Coelho campus, because it shows that we are trying to develop and prepare more and more young people in the Christian path."
The original version of this story was posted on the Adventist University of São Paulo Portuguese-language news site.