EA has partnered with a non-profit organization to develop a variety of specialized learning games.
Electronic Arts has partnered with non-profit organization Institute of Play and the Electronic Software Association to establish a “games lab” for making games to be used in classrooms across the USA.
The Games, Learning and Assessment (GLASS) lab, announced at the Aspen Ideas Festival, will be researching the skills students need to succeed at a collegiate level. The lab’s developers will then proceed to make new games and modify existing ones based on the results, possibly with one of EA’s bountiful IPs sprinkled on top.
The lab’s price tag is valued at a cool $10.3 million in grants, generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Given the non-profit nature of the project, any educational games that are released will be made available to schools and students at little to no cost.
Jeff Brown, EA’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, says that the industry has experienced “a transformative change over the past decade”, and that several opportunities to use games in other areas have come up, including education. “We are excited to be a founding partner of GLASS Lab,” he said, “and not only house the organization at our headquarters but lend our world-class IP and talent to the project.”
EA isn’t the only company with its eye on schools. Valve has expressed a similar interest in the education sector, releasing a free version of its software for educators and holding workshops on how to use it in the classroom.