Read – An Industry Snapshop
Research by Ambient Insight shows that global sales by game-based and simulation-based learning companies hit over $1.5 billion US dollars last year alone. Their researchers have predicted that the serious games market will grow to $2.3 billion in 2017. That is an increase of 8.3% in the next 3 years (Adkins, 2013).
Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2013/09/demand_for_game-based_learning_simulations_continues_to_grow.html
This number grows to a staggering $9 billion US dollars if it includes simulation-based learning games (Adkins, 2013). And its not just educational software providers developers getting in on the act. In 2005, Nintendo launched Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day on the NintendoDS handheld. Brain Age and its variants have since sold over 37 million copies worldwide, and remain one of Nintendo’s greatest recent successes.
The market is thriving, and much of that is on the backs of a number of industry leaders and trendsetters. From the massive multi-player worlds of Math Blaster and Minecraft, to ever-popular series like Civilization and Reader Rabbit, to the cutting edge DGBL developers like Brainpop and Sokikom, the industry seems, more than ever before, to be in creative and capable hands.
Adkins, S. S. (2013, 08 22). he 2012-2017 worldwide game-based learning and simulation-based markets. Retrieved from http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight_SeriousPlay2013_WW_GameBasedLearning_Market.pdf
Participate – Research an Industry Leader
Research one or more of the following industry leaders. Consider what these developers and organizations are doing to effectively integrate gaming into education.
1. MinecraftEDU – An organization with the mandate to “Bring Minecraft to the classroom”.
2. BrainPop – An educational game developer with a successful subscription based service.
3. DiscoveryKIDS – Discovery channel’s award winning extension into educational gaming.
4. Lumocity – A company specializing in improving your brain power through games and puzzles.
5. Gamedesk – An innovative company specializing in blended learning solutions.
6. STEM Challenge – A video game development competition for kids.
7. Gamestar Mechanic – A video game design community with tutorials, development tools, and shared games.
8. Knowledge Adventure – Educational video game developers, creators of Math Blaster Online.
9. Kodu – Microsoft’s self-publishing tool allows users to create games for the PC and XBox.
10. Sokikom – An edu-tech company specializing in game-based curriculum for mathematics.
Comment – Post Your Response
Select one of the industry leaders in the list above, or choose your own not mentioned on the list. Post your remarks on the following in the comments section below.
1. Summarize the significance of this industry leader.
2. Reflect on the educational value of this industry leader’s contributions.
3. Express whether or not you would use, or have used, a product or service from this industry leader, and state why.
12 Responses to Industry Leaders
After reviewing MinecraftEDU, I still think that the one of the many challenges associated with computer game-based learning is that most typical classrooms are not equipped with one computer per student. This means that teachers have to book their school’s computer lab in advance in order for their students to use MinecraftEDU, for example. And, there are always challenges around booking a school’s computer lab, not to mention the challenges around game-based learning continuity and advancement. I think that the foremost hurdle is a radical change in culture, beginning with investing and maintaining a one computer per student program (with Internet connectivity) in every classroom of every school. Otherwise, industry leaders like MinecraftEDU will continue to find it difficult to tap into the public school systems. Lastly, the research by Ambient Insight is all well and fine, but it does not include the Canadian marketplace, specifically public school systems. Here, I think that much of the sales are in the private sector (e.g., businesses, educational centres and institutions, parents, students, etc.), not in the public sector (i.e., K-12 schools). In all, industry leaders are very ready to sell and to support their offerings, but, as for the public school systems, they really need to move away from the traditional teaching model.