Videojuegos: cuando jugar y aprender es divertido (versión español)

English version here.

Los juegos educativos han existido desde el principio de los tiempos de la informática. Juegos cuya finalidad principal es la de la enseñanza, permitiendo que el alumno adquiera una serie de conocimientos y habilidades en base a un software que le permite analizar su destreza, mejorarla, y obtener un resultado final.

Pero, demasiadas veces, los juegos educativos son demasiado educativos. ¿Qué quiere esto decir? Están muy centrados en el componente formativo, dejando de lado el componente lúdico. Esta característica de este tipo de juegos conlleva que el uso de estos programas se convierta, en muchos aspectos, en una extensión de una clase de matemáticas, o de física. Tenemos pizarras virtuales, con problemas virtuales, que se resuelven como en clase: con una tiza virtual, y con un resultado que es una puntuación de los ejercicios resueltos.

Este planteamiento no es negativo, pero es importante ir más allá de la idea de crear extensiones de una clase de matemáticas o de física. Y ahí es donde aparecen juegos que son muy similares, cuando no iguales, a cualquier videojuego que podamos imaginar, pero que,  en su interior, contienen elementos que permiten el desarrollo del conocimiento del jugador. A esto se le llama fusionar jugador y alumno, de tal modo que ambos, el que juega, y el que aprende, son el mismo individuo.

Somos muchos los que hemos aprendido con juegos que, en principio, no tienen la etiqueta oficial de educativos, aunque todos sabemos que lo son. Pongo tres ejemplos. La saga Civilization sería el primero. ¿Cuánta historia hemos aprendido con esta saga? El segundo sería la saga Sim City, o su derivado actual, Cities: Skylines, donde aprendemos todos los aspectos del desarrollo de una ciudad. Y el tercero es uno que me toca especialmente: los simuladores de vuelo. ¿Cuántas personas que empezaron con el Flight Simulator y otros simuladores han terminado siendo pilotos profesionales? Yo conozco unos cuantos.

Debemos buscar nuevas fuentes de aprendizaje, basadas en el juego tradicional de PC y de consola, fusionado con elementos educativos. La pizarra virtual es muy importante, pero, ¿por qué quedarnos ahí? Podemos crear juegos divertidos, emocionantes, en tres dimensiones, con buenos gráficos y sonido, que además tengan un componente formativo y educativo importante.

Ese es nuestro cometido. Y en esa tarea estamos implicados. Aprender sin saber que estás aprendiendo. Ese es nuestro lema. Y deseamos que lo sea para miles de jóvenes en todo el mundo. Muchas gracias.

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Videogames: when playing and learning is fun

Spanish version here.

Educational games have existed since the beginning of the computer age. Games whose main purpose is to teach, allowing students to acquire a series of knowledge and skills based on software that allows them to analyze their skills, improve them, and obtain a final result.

But, too often, educational games are too educational. What does this mean? They are very focused on the training component, leaving aside the recreational component. This characteristic of this type of game means that the use of these programs becomes, in many ways, an extension of a math or physics class. We have virtual blackboards, with virtual problems, that are solved as in class: with a virtual chalk, and with a result that is a score of the exercises solved.

This approach is not negative, but it is important to go beyond the idea of creating extensions of a math or physics class. And that’s where games appear that are very similar, if not equal, to any video game we can imagine, but that, inside, contain elements that allow the development of the player’s knowledge. This is called merging player and student, so that both the player and the learner are the same individual.

Many of us have learned through games that, in principle, do not have the official educational label, although we all know that they are. I will give three examples. The Civilization saga would be the first. How much history have we learned from this saga? The second would be the Sim City saga, or its current derivative, Cities: Skylines, where we learn all aspects of a city’s development. And the third one is one that particularly touches me: the flight simulators. How many people who started with the Flight Simulator and other simulators ended up being professional pilots? I know a few of them.

We must look for new sources of learning, based on traditional PC and console games, merged with educational elements. The virtual blackboard is very important, but why stay there? We can create fun, exciting games in three dimensions, with good graphics and sound, which also have an important educational and training component.

That is our mission. And in that task we are involved. Learning without knowing what you are learning. That’s our motto. And we want it to be so for thousands of young people around the world. Thank you very much.

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Everything ready, and math is the limit

We are ready to conquer schools, homes, and anyone who wants to learn and practice math.

This is the promotional poster for Math Classroom Challenge, associated with the Steam release. Trying to be original, and with a little humor is always important. We are finishing the test with the Steam version, and the iOS versions are now available at the App Store.

  • Math Street Challenge iOS Augmented Reality here.
  • Math Classroom Challenge iOS here.
  • Math Classroom Challenge Windows/Oculus here.

And remember that for adults we have Math Combat Challenge here.

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Quadratic equations are on the way

Quadratic equations are not included in the 1st build of Math Classroom Challenge (Windows) and Math Street Challenge (iOS-AR), but you can expect to find them soon in new builds.

Meanwhile, the Augmented Version (iOS) version of Math Street Challenge is now at the App Store, and the Windows version, Math Classroom Challenge and its Oculus version is in final test for being released next June 1st. Thank you for your support.

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Math Street Challenge released

We are happy to inform that Math Street Challenge, the Augmented Version of Math Classroom Challenge (iOS, Windows), is now available at the App Store. Don’t send your children to study in their room; send them to the street.

Math Street Challenge is a game to be played outdoors, in your school, your garden, anywhere, anytime. You can configure many parameters of the game, from sums to equations, decimals, difficulty, time, and others.

Take a look at the manual here, and start feeling that math can be fun. And even you can practice, because anyone can enjoy math. Have a nice Math Day!

Math Street Challenge teaser trailer

This is a teaser trailer of Math Street Challenge. Here you can see some of the features of the game. We’re recording a new video explaining in detail all the elements about configuration of the game. By the way, we’re almost finished the Windows version, more info coming very soon.

The game is now  on preorder at the App Store. The game will be released next Thursday 24.

You can find the manual here.