The Education Arcade Project Manager Scot Osterweil’s “The Road From Zoombiniville” was the top rated presentation at this year’s Serious Games Summit. The Summit was part of the Game Developers Conference held March 5-9 in San Francisco.
Zoombinis was one of a number of inventive learning games released a decade ago, when the boundary between entertainment and education games was not so stark. Over time, the “edutainment” category devolved into nothing more than drill and practice, while the entertainment sector rejected anything that smelled of education. Now there is growing awareness that real learning happens in game play, and a renewed interest in games that teach. This talk, by the Zoombinis’ creator Scot Osterweil, project manager for The Education Arcade was a look at lessons learned from those earlier games, and what more recent innovations must be incorporated if learning games are to matter again.