Thursday, September 25, 2008

Playware Studios & Magic Lanterns

I was at some corporate events when I was introduced to Playware Studios, a company who blends games with education, and develops applications for students in schools. Here's a brochure that I took from the event. Of course, they do develops casual games as well.

Out of curiosity, I search for one of their products, Magic Lanterns. Through the different articles, it seems that Magic Lanterns has garnered quite favourable reviews. Magic Lanterns has its own site, and interested readers could look at the screen shots or even try the game for free (it's a shareware, i.e. you need to pay for a permanent full version). One of my colleagues had obtained a 'cube' from the earlier games convention, and it features magic lanterns!

Schools and educators are starting to appreciate that games can play a favourable part in imparting knowledge to students. Through games, students can learn the softer aspects of group participation, leadership management, and resource planning. We see these important soft skills surfacing in guild leaders of various online games (e.g. World of Warcraft). The trick is to partner the correct games developer to create games that requires (and rewards) such soft skills. Unlike project works that attract points / marks from teachers, games could be more informal, and thus less stressful for the students.

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