A game of exploration, trade and discovery, focusing on the early Dutch exploration and settlement on the island.

This project is a product of a semester-long Independent Study at Parsons. The study was directed by Colleen Macklin and David Carroll, Head of the MFA Design and Technology program. The main impetus for the project was to explore new ways to design and prototype locative games that run on mobile platforms to help educate children in High School about the Dutch Settlers of Manhattan in the early 1600′s.

David Carroll has written an excellent scientific article for Mobility Shifts, a summit on the International Future of Learning. His article, called ‘Learning Through Digital Media, Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy’ reviews the 7scenes technology, on which we have built the Mobile Learning Academy.

About the game

It is the year 1620. You are a team of settlers working for the Dutch East Indian Trading Company. You have traveled from Holland to explore and settle an island called Manhattan. You are among the first settlers to reach the island. In order to prepare for the arrival of the next wave of settlers, you need to gather resources that are shown on a map within the application. Teams of players gather the required resources for their ship or trade these resources with other teams. The team that arrives at the pier the first has won the game.

In addition to finding resources, teams may also trade resources with other teams of settlers.


Settlers of Manhattan was successfully launched at PlayTech, an annual play testing event that connects game designers to a young audience. For an hour and a half, three teams of 3 to 5 teens each scoured the West village in search of munitions, beaver traps and farming tools.