Amplify’s revolutionary approach to designing games for the classroom? Hiring game designers, duh.
For many students, playing games in schools was a blessing and a curse. They were a blessing because videogames such as Math Blaster, the mid-80s title I grew up on, was a welcome reprieve from schooling. These games were also a boon for teachers, who were able to add a fun, interactive tool to their lesson plans. It was a valiant effort on the part of educators, but there was one problem: The games sucked.
Compare a standard educational game title to, say, the lush, seductive graphics of the newly-released Destiny or even the open-ended and infinite simplicity of Minecraft, edugames have a hard time competing. “You can’t fool the kids,” says Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify, the education startup housed with the media giant News Corp. “They want world-class game designers.”