Enticed by that prize? Eager to admire the finalists?
Or to learn how to submit your ingenious idea, click here.
How we got here
We’ve spent the last six months exploring how learning technology is changing higher education at warp speed. And we now know for certain that learning technology can do much more than just help instructors organize course materials or students turn in assignments electronically.
Learning games can transform the time needed for memorization and skills development from drudgery to something approaching real fun. Unfortunately, well-designed and engaging games for introductory college-level science courses seem few and far between. We’d like to do something about that.
In search of creative ideas!
So we’ve decided to invite students (or anyone) from around the world to think creatively about games for practicing introductory science skills. We want YOU to dream up the learning game you wish you had when you were learning whatever you struggled with in the recent past. You don’t have to be a computer programmer, education major, or a gamer to participate.
What we want: A basic idea with a fun twist
Our objective is to seek out ideas for a simple game that is fun to play, yet also facilitates effective basic science or math learning. We want to cement fundamental concepts that are critical for continued success in science, and that can mean chemistry, physics, mathematics, et cetera. A game could reinforce logarithms, the pH scale, metric conversions, Lewis Dot Diagrams, or getting significant figures right when you do calculations. The important element is to give the activity a fun or exciting twist that could make it a game that you would want to play. Mere Flashcards need not apply!
What makes a great game?
Games don’t have to be complex or have stunning graphics to be effective or generate great game play. The original Mario Brothers, which was really very simple, is still played by millions of people around the globe three decades after its release. Many games hone important skills even if they weren’t designed primarily for learning. Games such as Portal and Portal 2 are played for recreation, but are also improve observation and problem-solving skills and are powered by amazing physics engines. One example of a simple, yet effective game designed specifically for learning is The Blood Typing Game.
We’ll be awarding up to three prizes (depending on the volume of entries). Creators of winning ideas will:
- get a $100 gift card from their choice of Amazon or iTunes,
- be featured, along with the game ideas, in a post on our website,
- have a chance at seeing their game ideas implemented–hopefully sometime in the next year–and
- get a permanent ‘based on an original concept by’ listing in the credits of any game produced.
So let your creative side run wild. It’s unlikely you’ll come up with the next Angry Birds or Bejeweled, but you might just become a hero to a few thousand frustrated freshmen around the world!
For more details on how to enter the 2013 Learning Game Idea Contest,