“Impact” is a broad term that can have diverse meanings, dependent on an organization’s resources and objectives. Like many of our partners, you might approach us with your desired impact already in mind – however, plenty of organizations come to us seeking both our game development services as well as advice on how to maximize its potential impact.
Below, you’ll find a handful of examples of how we’ve aligned our goals with our partners’, collaborating to create outstanding learning games with significant real-world impact.
Game-based learning has the power to create many types of efficacy – games can engage, inspire, motivate, educate; the list goes on. Whether you’re looking to create empathy, impart critical knowledge, or inspire the next generation of creators and professionals, our unique approach to game-based learning harnesses the inherently educational power of play.
To deepen our understanding of the subject matter efficacy in our game Planet Mechanic, we worked with Mary Headington, science educator at a local middle school, to conduct a classroom study. To begin, Mary instructed all of her students to complete a pre-assessment designed to test their current knowledge of the content presented within the game. Next, she split her students into three sections – a section where students would play only Planet Mechanic, a section where students would only receive traditional instruction from her, and a section where students would both play the game and supplement their gameplay with traditional teacher-led instruction. Afterwards, all three sections took another post-assessment.
The study found the average grades for students who played only the game remained nearly unchanged, and the average grades for students who only received traditional instruction increased by 6%. However, the average grades for students who played the game and received traditional instruction went up by 10% – a full letter grade improvement over the pre-assessment average. The study supports the findings of previous studies that the learning gains from educational game play is greatest when educators blend in-class game-based learning with a mix of different surrounding activities.
Learn more about how educational video games can support engagement and learning efficacy in the below video from popular YouTube channel ExtraCredits.
Impact at Scale
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 with one mission: to reimagine civic education through interactive and engaging game-based learning resources. A nationally-recognized digital suite for teaching civics, iCivics is now the world’s largest and most active game-based learning platform, reaching nearly 200,000 teachers and more than 7 million students across all 50 U.S. states – an impressive example of game-based learning at scale.
iCivics games are popular among students for their engaging gameplay and stylized visuals, and teachers are equipped with free supplemental materials that are high-quality, standards-aligned, and flexible for accommodating various classroom setups. When surveyed, teachers report increased student engagement in politics, current events, and government-related issues following the introduction of iCivics in their classrooms, lending further credibility to research which suggest that students who receive a high-quality civics education are more likely to serve as active and informed citizens in their local communities.
Helping to further iCivics’ mission, we recently upgraded one of their most popular titles Do I Have A Right?, creating an all-new Spanish language mode (¿Tengo Algún Derecho?) with supplementary ELL curriculum components offered through iCivics’ official website. This release marks the first time an iCivics game has been released with support for non-English-speaking players, serving as a testament to the organization’s commitment to reaching every student in America.
Learn more about our longstanding partnership with iCivics and their mission to make civics education accessible for all in this article from The New York Times.
Our team also has extensive experience creating games for commercial impact, developing experiences that have been sold in-stores, online, or even as part of a larger collection of content offerings.
A recent example of this business model is our work with Publications International in developing the Encyclopedia Britannica VR Explorations app suite. Combining physical books and immersive virtual reality, each VR Explorations kit contains six hardcover Encyclopedia Britannica books detailing topics like Dinosaurs, Landmarks, and Space, with each book supplementing an included Android and iOS-compatible VR experience. Our apps allow readers to be immersed in 3D environments associated with each book’s content, highlighting interactive animations, videos, games and more.
The VR Explorations kit was sold profitably through CostCo throughout the holidays, marketed towards families and parents as a meaningful gift that combines the excitement of new VR technologies with the familiarity and educational merit of high-quality Encyclopedia Britannica book content.