Using Limbo as a Story Starter- by Anjum Razaq

Limbo is an indie game which was released on Xbox Live Arcade in the Summer of 2010.  In the game the player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments, to what end.... is revealed later. The game is beautifully presented in monochromatic black and white tones with filters and lighting effects to add to the mood. The soundtrack is sparse and minimalist to add to the eerie atmosphere. There is no onscreen HUD (Heads Up Display) and so the game is an immersive experience. The art style is reminiscent of the great Lotte Reiniger and German Expressionism, leaving a lot up to the viewers imagination.

As a gamer I was in awe of the game and even though the game features traps, buzz saws and other inappropriate content later on the first few minutes or so of the game are an excellent story writing stimulus and is safe to use. I planned a sequence of lessons with some EAL children to develop their vocabulary, specifically their use of adjectives. The lessons took place once a week over 4 weeks, in which time we listened to the ambient soundtrack, watched my play-through of the first few minutes of the game (using careful editing I avoided any inappropriate material) and wrote the story in draft and then types and illustrated it. I converted the finished file into a pdf. and placed it on our school website so that parents could put it on their Kindle, ipads, iphones etc. Here is the work we produced.

LINK- TES lesson plans