Monday, July 11, 2011

So I Found this Great Learning Games Company...

Persistence pays off.  Through a long chain of events — from entering Imagine Cup to getting in touch with its head guy, to connecting with the Games for Learning Institute and attending the Games for Change festival, and finally discovering Filament Games — I am closer than ever to seeing my vision for my Gram's House project realized.


Gram's House is a game designed to change the image of computing among middle school girls and to instill confidence by teaching real computer science concepts through the game's puzzles.  The game will have a story that provides an emotional hook that shows that you can do social good with computer science.

Our Imagine Cup submission can only be called a minimal demo of the game, but one that doesn't capture even a fraction of what I envision for the final product.  I have wanted to find someone to collaborate with to see the game developed without any luck until now.  While at the Games for Change Festival, I saw a talk by the CEO of Filament Games and immediately wondered if they'd be interested in such a project.  I sent an email with hope but no expectations, but was delighted to hear back from one of the higher-ups almost right away!

I've been speaking with the company's research director and it turns out they have had their eye on a particular grant that appears to be a great fit for this project.  We are currently looking for other collaborators in the US before pursuing the grant.  We've found a few so far, but if you're a faculty member in computer science or learning science and think this project sounds interesting, let me know!

So far I'm really impressed with Filament Games.  Their philosophy is impressive and I love the research-based approach they seem to take with their games.  You can play their games online, and everything I've played so far has been high quality.  Whether this project works out or not, I hope I have the privilege of working with Filament Games at some point in the future!

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