I have long maintained that video games can and should be an effective tool for education. While video games are capable of sharpening hand-eye coordination and basic problem solving, they can also have the ability to impart practical education; from humble beginnings like Mario Teaches Typing, to more subtle educational games like Nobunaga’s Ambition. It seems game companies are beginning to acknowledge this as well as Gearbox Publishing, Triseum, and Legends of Learning join the ESA.
Announced via press release, the Educational Software Association said it was proud to partner with the three companies, stating they add diverse experience to the association in the areas of game development and game-based learning. The ESA expressed a dedication to working with industry leaders across the country to delivers great entertainment for gamers and success for those who create games.
President and CEO of the ESA, which represents the US video game industry, Michael D. Gallagher, was excited about the partnership, saying, “Gearbox Publishing, Triseum and Legends of Learning are remarkable innovators that are revolutionizing interactive entertainment.” Gallagher adds, “The perspective and reach of these companies will boost our efforts to expand the frontiers of the interactive entertainment industry.”
President of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford echoed these sentiments, saying, “We are pleased to be joining the Entertainment Software Association as our newly formed branch, Gearbox Publishing, continues its mission to be the most developer-friendly publisher in the industry.” Pitchford said, “As we work toward our goal of entertaining the world as a publisher partnering with various studios around the industry, being a part of ESA is key to achieving that objective.”
Triseum was born out of the LIVE Lab in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University with a mission of inspiring students to succeed through game-based learning. Triseum combines commercial game development experience with deep educational expertise to create revolutionary ways for students to learn. CEO of Triseum, André Thomas expressed the importance of joining the ESA, saying, “Becoming a member of the ESA is an important next step for Triseum as our games gain tremendous traction at colleges and universities across the country.”
Thomas adds, “Our development process relies on rigorous research coupled with student and faculty involvement, creating learning experiences that are fun and engaging while also producing measurable gains in student knowledge. The resources available through ESA will help us further advance our leadership position in game-based learning and the impact we are making on learning outcomes and student success.”
Legends of Learning aims to make learning fun, accessible and effective, with a focus on life sciences, earth sciences, space sciences and physical sciences. Legends of Learning creates a productive learning environment for teachers with curriculum-based games driven by research. EVP and co-founder of Legends of Learning, Josh Goldberg expressed satisfaction in the partnership, saying, “We are excited to join ESA and be another voice focused on education, supporting the great work already being done on behalf of our industry. Our ed games will bring a new level of entertainment to curriculum,”
Goldberg adds, “Grades and subject mastery will improve, but most importantly, we think the games will help students better enjoy their time at school. Best yet, our platform makes it easy for teachers to deploy the content and game developers to create the content, which has been a barrier for success with other game-based learning initiatives.”
The ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues. With three companies dedicated to enjoyment and education, this could be an exciting time for the future of game-based learning!