Our primary goal at Artificial Wisdom is altruistic, to have more educational content blended into popular video games. However, we understand that for this to happen it must benefit all the key groups involved, including publishers. Fortunately the GRADE rating system offers benefits to publishers.
Before we launch into an explanation of the benefits to publishers, let us make one important point. We are not asking for any changes in video games that would detract from their popularity or alter game play. Nor are we suggesting that popular video games should be transformed into educational games. That is not what we advocate, and frankly, it's unnecessary.
Due to advances in video game equipment, today's designers are already including considerable amounts of educational content in popular video games. Many shooter games include more current events, strategy games include more history, MMORPGs require more interpersonal people skills and role playing games of all variety include more business skills. It's a natural evolution of game design with designers making use of the full potential of game equipment to transport the gamer deeper into the world of the game. As games become more detailed the challenges they present grow closer to real life situations, becoming educational. All that is required for this process to flourish is for designers to become more conscious of the educational content they already include in games, and for them to take advantage of the many other opportunities to blend more into their designs.
Please note; By "educational content" we aren't only referring to what you would think of as classroom taught facts. We rate a broad range of material and skills which we have organized into useful categories. The resulting opportunities to include educational content in a game are endless.
Permit us to be clear on one matter. Artificial Wisdom isn't preparing ratings just for the sake of having ratings. Our goal is to have more educational content blended into popular video games. After a great deal of consideration over many years, we have become convinced that publishers only stand to gain from taking part in this process. In financial terms, we believe that blending educational content in games will only encourage parents and gamers to appreciate and purchase more video games.
Awareness. As we said above, due to advances in the technology video games already contain more educational content, but the public is not aware of this trend. Our ratings and rating system will make the public more aware of the growth of educational content in games.
Purchasing Parents. Two thoughts repeatedly emerge from parents regarding the blending of educational content into popular video games. First, parents tell us that they think it's a terrific idea and that they do look for games that offer something extra for their children. Second, when we explain that substantial amounts of educational content are already contained in many video games, parents often respond that if they had known that was true they would have purchased more games.
Low Or No Cost. When the intent to blend educational content in a game is considered along with the initial design planning, it presents alternative costs rather than additional ones. For example, if a game designer desires to place a painting on the wall, using the Mona Lisa doesn't take any more design time than creating a painting from scratch. The design work is done. And don't forget that the vast majority of all educational facts are in the public domain, so the material that designers would draw from is both vast and royalty free.
A plus for the industry. We at Artificial Wisdom are game boosters. There isn't any question in our minds that video games carry benefits, because we evaluate them on a daily basis. Unfortunately, our view is not universally shared, and we see occasional negative reports on games in the media. If more educational content is intentionally blended into video games the industry will be able to state as an absolute fact that popular video games intentionally contain benefits for the game player. The industry will have gained a valuable positive argument to counter the views of detractors.
Rating categories that everyone can understand. Many experts who say that video games are educational present arguments that are somewhat technical. The GRADE rating system is the opposite, using categories that everybody can understand. We have chosen categories that parents find particularly useful, such as people skills, creativity, facts, business skills, things that benefit everyone. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand our ratings, and anyone taking an honest look at them will gain a new respect for the educational aspects of popular video games.
Certification. Our certification program is specifically designed to reward publishers who recognize the value of blending educational content into their games and take part. We offer preliminary ratings and advice, certification box art and exposure on our web site home page. We're not here to sit back and cast judgment. We're here to encourage and assist. We will never compromise the quality and integrity of our ratings, but if a publisher registers a work-in-process for certification we will happily provide all the advice and recommendations necessary for that game to achieve a good grade. Certification is designed to achieve a strategic alliance between Artificial Wisdom and the game industry where both of our main objectives are met, more educational content for Artificial Wisdom and gamers, increased profits and public approval for publishers and their industry.