According to a report by Variety – where writer Brian Crecente attended a Games For Change event without disclosing that he’s on the advisory board – it was revealed that University of Montreal professor Marc-André Éthier has been using Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ Discovery Tour to test its teaching efficacy with students, and that Éthier wants to further use the mode to help teach students about history.
In a small study it was revealed that on its own the Discovery Mode is not better than having a real life teacher provide lectures and material on the subject matter, with some students showing an improvement rate of 44% when they used the mode, where-as those who were instructed by the teacher showed an improvement rate of 51%.
This didn’t deter Éthier from pursuing the use of the mode for students. In fact, he explained to Crecente that he would like to further test its use within the classroom, with Crecente writing…
“Éthier said in the future he would like to measure how effective the mode is in teaching more complex notions about things like society, politics, and agency and that he’d like to see if it could be used to measure the development of critical thinking. He also thinks it’s possible it could be more effective when used in conjunction with a teacher, rather than on its own.”
This should be frightening news to anyone who knows anything about Ubisoft’s Discovery Tour in Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
Not only did Ubisoft censor parts of the Discovery Tour, but it reveals that parts of history that was featured in Assassin’s Creed: Origins was changed to fit Ubisoft’s current year sociopolitical beliefs. In their own words they explained…
“Here both girls and boys are shown attending a class given by one of the rhetoricians of the era.
“The team made the choice to show both genders attending class within the context of the game world. Even though it is historically inaccurate, the team felt it was not necessary to prioritize historical sexism over inclusive gameplay.”
What we don’t know is how much more of the game or the Discovery Tour was altered for the sake of pushing a sociopolitical agenda. Anyway parent concerned about their kid’s education would likely do well to avoid any classroom utilizing the Assasson’s Creed Discovery Tour as a tool for education. Changing history, censoring content, and making alterations for the sake of being on the “right side of history” sets a very dangerous precedent.