I heard today that Rovio, maker of the hit game Angry Birds, has just come out with a new educational game. This makes me happy. These people clearly understand how to create compelling games. Having their expert level of game design at work in the educational space will, no matter how things turn out, raise the entire enterprise to a higher level.
I’ve also heard through an anonymous source on the inside that other innovative educational games may be in the pipeline. Here are a few:
Angry Words: A fun game in which young children learn principles of modern speech by smashing words against various sentence structures. The player advances in the game by progressively destroying the structure of English grammar, and eventually even words themselves. The underlying educational process is also known as “lrng 2 txt”.
Angry Bards:The player learns about questions of authorship in Elizabethan drama by playing a first person shooter in which a heavily armed William Shakespeare has it out with Francis Bacon, the 6th Earl of Derby, Christopher Marlowe, and the 17th Earl of Oxford. In the game, Marlowe is hard drinking and cynical, Bacon wields a giant meat cleaver, Oxford pounds opponents with his dictionary (Volumes I and II, unabridged), whereas Derby relies entirely on the razor sharp edge of his hat — which with a flick of his wrist will slice off the head of a rival playwright and then return to his grasp. The game culminates in a scene of bloodshed and mayhem, during which one of the non-player characters manages to say “We few, we happy few…” before his head is sliced neatly off at the neck.
Angry Kurds:In this immersive role-playing game, the player learns about the history of Middle Eastern geopolitics, and why it can really really suck to be an ethnic minority.
I understand there are many other games in the educational pipeline as well, including Angry Nerds, Angry Brads (special Hollywood edition), and the hugely anticipated Hunger Birds. But I think this has been quite enough for one day.