Using Geofiction In Education
Geofiction is a wonderful hobby that can provide an enthusiast with hours of fun. But, like other hobbies, it can also be highly educational. Take reenacting, for example. Those who participate in reenactments have to immerse themselves in a historical time period, learning tons of information about history in the process. Geofiction is similar, but can be adapted more readily to the classroom or as a fun way to encourage imagination and creativity while also reinforcing learned concepts.
Did I mention it's fun?
Geofiction and History
This is perhaps the easiest application of geofiction to an academic environment. Creating a world based on an alternate history timeline first requires solid knowledge of real-world history. It also encourages someone to engage in critical thinking, since he or she will have to essentially take history up until a certain point and branch out into the unknown, establishing a continuation of history that is logical and at least somewhat plausible.
The series created by Newt Gengrich that focuses on an alternate-history Civil War universe is an example of a plausible alternate history timeline that is based on solid historical fact. Encouraging geofiction is a good way to teach history in a creative way.
Geofiction and Culture
Geofiction can also be used to teach lessons regarding culture and diversity. A culture can be a very complex concept to learn; therefore, there are few ways better to teach these concepts than to have individuals create their own culture from their imagination.
Students can also learn how cultures interact with each other by applying lessons they have learned to creating their own world with two or more diverse cultures and societies. I participated in an activity when I was in high school that divided the class into two sides, with each one responsible for creating a society with certain morals and values. It was extremely interesting how the two cultures differed, yet were able to interact with each other (for the most part).
Geofiction and Civics
It is no secret that teaching children and adults alike about government and how it works can be tough. Government can be incredibly complicated, so studying the different components and using geofiction to recreate them in an original way is a great way to get a handle on how government operates. You can even use this to learn about different forms of government, and have individuals create societies based off of each form.
Of course, for a hobbyist, it goes both ways. Geofiction can be used to instruct, but a hobbyist can also make their geofiction stronger by learning more about these basic concepts. Often a superb work - say, a novel - excels precisely because it is written on a firm foundation of knowledge about the real world, even if it is based on a far-off planet full of mystical, alien races in a bizarre environment.
Geofiction, therefore, is a great example of a hobby that has practical uses outside of merely having fun.