Last year I used Celeste in my G6 advisory class. Some of them were struggling with self-image issues and some other mental health-related issues. It was a fantastic experience.
My class is for 10 kids. 4 identify as girls, the others go by boys. And while most of them say they like games, in reality, most of them only play free games in cellphones or iPads. Their parents are not fans of video-games and have the common stereotype in their heads: games are violent.
Kids were also surprised by Celeste, as they could no kill anything and there was no competition. They took turns and collaborated with each other to reach the end of each level. Each player had 3 chances at solving the puzzle on the screen, if they couldn't they would pass the controller, if they could and reach the next stage in the level, they would also pass the controller.
It didn't take long before they recognized the strengths between them. Some players were good at solving puzzles, others at the frenetic action sequences Celeste challenges the players with.
At the end of each level, we would reflect on what we saw. Why the character is doing what she's doing, what is the meaning of the mountain (the main obstacle in the game). Do they have a mountain like that in their lives?
The responses were incredibly deep.
At the end of the game, the kids would feel they have a tool to deal with the anxious feelings of being a middle schooler. They were particularly fond of the feather breathing exercise.
I would love to develop a more in-depth class analysis of Celeste, as the game has many layers to explore.
This is a great idea to get a whole class engaged. I have Celeste on my Google Stadia, so it can be played anywhere like this. I just wish we had better wifi and internet connections at my school. I will definitely be keeping this rotation style gameplay in mind for the future. Thanks for the idea!
Thank you so much for sharing! I never got to the part with the feather with my students. I'm going to keep that in mind for the future.