A new videogame design lab in California will research and develop compelling video games whose aim is to aid and measure student learning.
The lab will also modify popular gaming titles to “engage students in innovative ways”, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
Once products are complete, they will be made available to middle and high school students, as well as school districts and families, at little or no cost.
“Video games can revolutionise American education and students’ testing and learning,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA.
“We can harness students’ passion and energy for video games and utilise that to reach and educate a 21st century workforce with skills critical for college and career readiness.”
The Games, Learning and Assessment Lab (GLASS Lab), is managed by the Institute of Play, a non-profit video game learning and research organisation. It is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EA, and the ESA.
"We are very enthusiastic about the GLASS Lab project," said Robert Torres, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Through game-based learning, students will be challenged, and teachers and parents can get real-time feedback on student progress.”
MacArthur Foundation’s director of education, Connie Yowell, stressed the need for education evolution.
“Learning is changing and so must educational institutions in order to engage kids and ensure they are taught the participatory and creative skills that are needed to succeed in the 21st century”.
The lab aims to engage students via a medium most are already intimately familiar with.
“The video game industry has experienced a transformative change over the past decade with the advent of new mobile, social and online platforms that have opened up opportunities for gaming in a number of sectors, including education,” said Jeff Brown, senior vice president of public affairs for EA.
“We are excited to be a founding partner of GLASS Lab and not only house the organization at our headquarters but lend our world-class IP and talent to the project.”
GLASS Lab will be based at EA’s global headquarters in Redwood City, California.