–submitted by Sharyn Alden
Jennifer Javornik, Vice-President of Partnerships & Business Development with Filament Games, an educational games developer in Madison, said her program was interactive, just like play is an interactive experience.
“Games allow you to learn by doing; they give you confidence, help you hone skills, fail in a safe place. These playful experiences help improve people’s lives,” she said.
Filament Games has partnered with numerous companies to showcase topics in a fun, meaningful way. For example, they partnered with PBS Kids on the program “Hero Elementary” which features fundamentals of recycling.
In developing games she said you have to decide who the player (you) are going to be—like in Pac-Man where the player becomes Pac-Man.
After a brief background on how ideas for digital games are developed, she threw a challenge to the audience to become a game developer for the day. Each table was asked to describe a game around the survival of three animals– a gibbon, elephant and turtle. Each animal has unique characteristics like a trunk, long tail or hard shell that have helped them evolve
Javornik suggested young people in the Rotary audience might have good ideas.
She was right. One girl suggested animals could ‘shape-shift’ to change their identifies against predators.
Another child suggested a simple, effective idea. “When objects or predators block the animals, you could have buttons on screen help save them, but you have to hit the right button based on what you know about the animal.”
With a collective, ‘Ohhh” from the audience, it would seem these types of educational games already have interested fans.
If you missed our meeting last week, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzqwKHsDlis&t=33s.