To All Teachers:
Artificial Wisdom™ is an advocate of education. The G.R.A.D.E.™ rating system is a user friendly tool that parents and others can use to determine which electronic games have useful educational content. Note, we aren't rating games sold as "educational games." We rate the top selling games designed primarily for fun. Some electronic games designed for fun already contain a considerable amount of educational content. Your students are playing those games, and we want game designers to weave more educational material into them. One of our greatest desires is for students in your classes to recognize a person, event, or concept because they have already been exposed to it while playing an electronic game. It will happen, if it hasn't already.
You can assist us with this endeavor by informing parents that some electronic games contain more educational content than others, and by directing them to our web site to learn which games are more beneficial for their children. Students can be exposed to valuable educational information while playing top selling electronic games, benefiting from a pastime that otherwise would offer only entertainment.
To Game Design Educators:
As experienced educators, you understand that your lessons in the classroom can have a ripple effect. You teach students the art and skills of design creation. Then they go on to create designs that touch the lives of hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of people. You never know what great achievement one of your students may accomplish in the future, or how powerfully their creations may influence the lives of others. Permit me to suggest that from time to time it would be challenging, beneficial and rewarding for you to assign projects that require blending educational content into the fabric of game designs.
Designers can easily steer the attention of the game player to educational content without detracting from the game. Educational content can be as simple as a background item, like placing the Mona Lisa painting on the wall. A more engaging presentation would be content that leads the player to directly observe something of merit, such as making the Mona Lisa painting an active object of some kind, so the game player will place their attention directly upon it at least once. An even more engaging presentation would be to make the educational content something the gamer wants to revisit, such as storing a pack of grenades behind the Mona Lisa painting that refreshes every minute or so, thereby encouraging the player to repeatedly search for the Mona Lisa image. It isn't difficult to encourage a game player to view that Mona Lisa painting any number of times, and without coming out and directly suggesting it. A person whose first encounter with the Mona Lisa painting comes during game play would sometime later stumble upon the actual painting in the "real world" and think, "Eureka! I know that painting!"
Please, when you instruct your game design students, don't forget to share the fact that they can do game players a huge favor by blending something educational into their creations. The world of educational content is a rich and vast source of material that is free for the asking and just waiting to be used. Designers should consider educational content to be another vaulable source of inspiration for their creations. If you would, assign exercises involving the use of educational content in game design, so your students can practice blending it into their creations and will come to think of it as a natural and valuable design tool. It's practical, rewarding and completely worthwhile.