Category Archives: Digital Gaming

Is the Educational Games Industry Falling Into the Same Trap It Did 20 Years Ago?

half_size_Venus_Flytrap-1454843751By Blake Montgomery (2/7/2016).  Re-posted from Edsurge

Carmen Sandiego has reappeared.

Last November, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt released “Carmen Sandiego Returns,” the first iPad and iPhone version of the classic game in which players use their geography knowledge to track Carmen and her goons across the world.

Her re-emergence coincides with a resurgence in the popularity of educational games. The Apple App Store, for instance, boasts 80,000 apps in its “Educational” category. Teachers increasingly blog and write about using game-based learning in their classrooms. And the market for educational games may be worth $2.3 billion by next year.

Carmen may be in plain sight now, but things aren’t the same as when she last appeared. Once an icon of the educational gaming software in the mid-90’s—also known as the “edutainment” era—Carmen hasn’t been hiding as much as trying to claw her way back from obscurity. Her disappearance was less intentional and more reflective of the collapse of the edutainment industry.

Aftershocks of the collapse of the edutainment industry still trouble today’s teeming edtech market. Many of the key players from back then see history repeating itself: A crowded market doomed the majority of edutainment companies, just as the App Store’s . What can today’s educational game developers learn from that boom-and-bust period?

The Heyday of Edutainment

To many, the embodiment of the edutainment industry was The Learning Company, the maker of such classics as “Reader Rabbit,” “Zoombinis,” “The Oregon Trail” and “Carmen Sandiego,” and several others that were popular in classrooms in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The company exploded soon after its inception. Sales reached $1 million in 1983, the first year it incorporated, and doubled each subsequent year, according to founder Ann McCormick’s blog. She and her team built a number of acclaimed titles in their early years like Rocky’s Boots, which won Software of the Year awards from several magazines. IBM contracted the company to create games for the PCjr. The games came prepackaged with Apple II computers as the desktop soared in popularity in schools.

The Learning Company was not without its troubles, though; it cycled through a number of executives between 1980 and 1985, with McCormick leaving in 1985. Nevertheless, the company continued to…

Continue article at original site: Edsurge


Anything you need to know about Gamification

airplane girlFrom eLearning Industry

This is an aggregation of eLearning articles from the staff of eLearning Industry.  The following are just a few of the titles linked from this site:

  • Building Motivation and Feedback with Gamification
  • Why Your Online Training Course Needs Gamification
  • eLearning and Video Games:  two industries helping each other grow
  • Gamification does not Equal Games: It equals Engagement and Innovation
  • Gamification vs Game-based eLearning: Can you tell the difference?
  • 5 Killer Examples of  Gamified eLearning?
  • The Anatomy of Gamified eLearning?


Link to site HERE




Let’s Create the ‘Metal Gear Solid’ of Digital Learning Games

metalgearsolid5Reposted from: Marcus T. Wright of Huffington Post Education

One of my favorite video games of all time is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. What a game. You had to not only navigate the barrage of obstacles thrown at your character (Snake), but you also had to make sure he was well-fed and his wounds were healed along the way. The graphics were amazing and the storyline was fantastic. It was quite the experience. If you have played the games from the Metal Gear series, you know that they are some of the finest gaming experiences ever crafted.

But this post isn’t necessarily about Metal Gear Solid. It’s about the movement to create digital games for learning purposes. Not just for education, but in all aspects of life. The movement is gaining steam. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology just had a Games for Learning summit in April. Titles that fall under the “Serious Games” category are helping people use games for self-improvement, personal development, and empathy. There is momentum to use games beyond entertainment purposes, and that momentum is growing.

But I want my Metal Gear Solid of digital learning games.

I want to learn while being blown away with spectacular storylines, amazing graphics, and mind-bending, cutting-edge gameplay.

Asking for too much, you say?

Continue essay  at Huffington Post Education Blog