I’ve looked at the crowdfunding of games before, and I’ve highlighted some interesting educational games via Twitter (this one in particular) that are going through the Kickstarter process.
Now an effort to study the lasting effects of educational games is starting up on Experiment.com, led by Jane Hornickel of Data Sense LLC. She seeks $3,400 to study the lasting benefits of educational videogames in students with learning difficulties.
Educational computer games can help students make big gains in school, particularly those who have learning difficulties. But it’s unclear how long these benefits last after finishing the games. I will look at test scores for children up to two years after they play educational computer games to see if children maintain their gains.
Crowdfunding for scientific purposes is an interesting phenomenon. Stay tuned to see if Dr. Hornickel successfully raises the needed funds.
Last year I noted the rise of Kickstarter in funding educational games. A year later, Entrepreneur Magazine has listed the top 100 crowdfunded companies. An astonishing 39 out 100 companies are game-based.
- 19 are in the Video Games/Gaming category.
- 16 are in the Tabletop Games category.
- 4 are in the Games category
The largest company funded to date is OUYA, for the development of their $99 open source home video game console. Pronounced “OOO-yah,” the company raised an astonishing $8,596,474 from their Kickstarter campaign, which had an initial fundraising goal of $950,000.
Of interest to educational pursuits, the OUYA console is inexpensive, and is allowed to be modified by end users. It runs on the Android system, so any educational apps developed for Android users should be able to be played on the OUYA. Finally, Minecraft, which has seen successful educational appropriation, will likely be viable on OUYA as well.
I stated last year, “It’s possible professors and students may turn to crowd funding in the future when designing educational games for research purposes.” I stand by that statement. The potential benefits are becoming increasingly apparent.