Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

YoYo Games and Activate! for Education


YoYo Games was originally released in 1999 by game creator Mark Overmars and have been downloaded more than 5 million times. GameMaker has a community of half a million registered users and is offered in more than 5,000 schools and Universities worldwide.

According to news from VentureBeat :

The company said today it is working with Microsoft to offer support in its cross-platform game development environment GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

That means developers will be able to use GameMaker: Studio to create their games and quickly publish them on Microsoft’s PC, smartphone and tablet operating systems. GameMaker can take the same code and easily export the games to other platforms, including Android, iOS (Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), Facebook, HTML5, and the Mac, said Sandy Duncan, chief executive of YoYo Games, in an interview with GamesBeat. The cooperation with Microsoft is a big sign of growing support for GameMaker, which has been around for a while but has recently been revamped for cross-platform development.

The activities based on GameMaker range from technology summer camps (see for example the Childrens Technology Workshop) and elementary schools, to highschools and universities (for example the course on Game design at Utrecht University). On this wiki page you could find information and links that are useful for educators. The shared teaching materials are for learners from age 11 to college students.

game-based learning

YoYo Games has been actively involving in educational programs, such as :

  • National STEM Video Game Challenge: There are two annual competitions – focused on both playing and designing games for STEM learning. The Youth Prize, with $50,000 in prize money, will be for student designers from 5th to 8th grade, and will target outreach and opportunities for students in high-poverty schools from underserved urban and rural communities. The Developer Prize will be open to anyone and focus on STEM games for early learners, pre-K to 4th grade, with special emphasis on developing technologies with the greatest potential for effectively reaching underserved communities. For this competition there is a special category for GameMaker with a curriculum built around GameMaker called Activate!. It is a community where kids can play games and learn to make them, too. The games on Activate! are about getting active and solving problems on your street, in your town, and in the world. (teacher resources available)
  • GameDesk: Developed out of The University of Southern California, GameDesk has been implementing it’s PLAYMAKING programs – whereby students learn by playing and by making games. GameDesk’s (www.gamedesk.org) game-making curriculum uses GameMaker to teach underserved students critical math content(MathMaker), and to build their identities as producers and engineers.  This video is a good overview of what they have done and are continuing to do with GameMaker. This month, GameDesk just launched its game-based learning school in LA. We’ve written about its pedagogy : Math Learning Embeded into Game Design.

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Categorised in: Constructivism, Game-Based Learning

1 Response »

  1. News release :
    YoYo Games and Valve Software announce a partnership to make the GameMaker: Studio family of products easily available to more than 45 million users of Steam with today’s launch of the Steam Software Store. GameMaker: Studio is YoYo Games’ fast and easy to use cross-platform games development environment that allows users to create games in a single code base and then export with a single button click and run them natively on multiple formats including Steam, HTML5, Facebook, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X. With today’s Steam Software Store launch, users will be able to download GameMaker: Studio, immediately begin creating games with a free version and purchase packages that unlock features, functionality and additional export options.

    GameMaker: Studio integrates with Steam Workshop allowing developers to publish games onto the platform for huge exposure and recognition potential within the Steam community, first on Workshop and then on Greenlight.

    read more : http://www.yoyogames.com/news/126

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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