What plot could be more alluring than a murder mystery? Whether you’re teaching about the Roman Empire or just want to give your students an exercise in logic, the BBC game Death in Rome will bring CSI-style detective drama into your classroom.
This game is especially easy to play and requires no software. Within seconds of clicking the start button you’re presented with the basic police report: In the year 80 AD Tiberius Claudius Eutychus was discovered dead in his Ostia apartment. As the investigator, your task is to analyze the evidence scattered about his home. That even includes his body, which has several interesting marks on it. You’re given a team of experts and three witnesses to consult, but you have to choose wisely whom to interview because the clock is ticking! The investigation begins at night and you must solve the case by dawn.
Death in Rome really excels in the way it brings many disciplines together. The need to reconcile various expert testimonies will help students understand the many angles of the inquiry process. When time expires, the game doesn’t just ask for your conclusion, but also relevant pieces of evidence from the scene. You can only win by choosing the correct cause of death supported by the right evidence. And if you get it wrong? Fortunately, it’s only a game and you can play again.