Articles of Interest

  • Via Raph, a lovely game (to be shared with all skeptical friends and family) that attempts to explain how video games teach.
  • Remarkable account of creative hiring practices employed by Mark Kern, founder of Red 5 (previously interviewed by me here.)
  • Mixed news on the PS3 launch in UK, Australia, and France. Apparently, the French launch was a disaster, but the UK launch was solid. (PSP is apparently doing well in the UK as well.)
  • Article about building user communities. Some of it will seem very obvious to you, but there are a couple of interesting ideas sprinkled in there.
  • EA starts a music label. Yet another example of the increasing cultural and business impact of games (and of EAs inevitable progression to massive media conglomerate…)
  • Very funny comic about Viva PiƱata.  :-)
  • Great article about Webkinz and Club Penguin. One thing I didn’t realize — Webkins limits the amount of time kids can play games, apparently to great effect. I guess busy adults aren’t the only people you can attract by avoiding typical timesink game designs…

283 responses to “Articles of Interest

  1. Regarding games as an education vehicle — I recently ran into Rick Kelsey who runs The Institute of Urban Game Design. This is a game development school for teens in the DC, Virginia and Maryland area. It is a 10 week program (@ $100)and from what I saw a lot of the students come from poor backgrounds (and most likely equally poor schooling). They really do build games from the ground up with 3D modeling in Maya, Game modding in Civ4, Programing in Alice and so on…pretty cool stuff! Rick told me that the end goal is to teach math and science.

    The article about building user communities is pretty good and mirrors our efforts in the real world. It is worth the effort to educate your members not only for the reasons stated in the article, but also because often times they sell your product/service better than you can.

  2. In this case, the thing the game trains is fundamentally just how the game functions, but there is an underlying skill concerning pattern matching that is reinforced, along with some basic motor and computer skills that are required to complete the tasks. Almost all computer games require at least those basic skills to play, and many don’t go any further, but some do. It’s determining what and how to train the skills or knowledge that isn’t inherent in the ‘medium’ that is the real challenge.

  3. Yeah I forgot to say upfront that besides in-game learning, people are using games as a tool to educate math and sciences. Gotta remember the intro!

    And my second comment was kind of a “duh” moment…of course that is what the article was driving at and what I meant to say is that often times your members can sell your product/service better than you in writing. For example, we allow our members to add a message to their friends (like LinkedIn) when they invite them to join…and what is great to see is how they put our service in their own words.

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