December 30, 2003

Proposal on Learning Software Development Sites

My proposal for Open Source Learning Software Development Sites is now posted at Anyone who finds this interesting and wants to help get it implemented, please email me at

There is also a new article on Modding -- The Latest Authoring Tool.

Happy New Year to all!

Posted by Marc at 09:46 PM

December 18, 2003

K-12: Project Inkwell, Hidden Agenda, Virtual Schools

I have been increasingly involved in helping the K-12 space move into digital game-based learning. Several recent projects:

1. PROJECT INKWELL. I am on the steering committee of this groups, created by Mark Anderson, to bring major hardware manufacturers together to create a common minimum, evolving spec for an "education computer,," in order to accelerate the move to one child one computer in schools.

2. HIDDEN AGENDA. I am on the board of this groundbreaking contest, sponsored by the Liemandt Foundation, in which teams college students create learning games for middle schoolers. This first content has 17 entries and a $25,000 first prize. See

3. VIRTUAL SCHOOLS. I gave a keynote addgress on games and learning at the Virtual Schools conference earlier this year, and am working with the Los Angeles Virtual School Project. We are looking especially at the moment for games that teach algebra. If you know of any good ones, please contact me at

Posted by Marc at 04:11 PM

I/ITSEC, Serious Games DC, Jerry's Retreat

I/ITSEC. I began December at I/ITSEC, the Military Training Conference in Orlando. I gave a paper on "Has 'Growing Up Digital' and Extensive Vodeogame Playing Affected Younger Military Personnel's Skill Sets." It was very well attended and received. I plan to do research on the subject this year at USNA (Annapolis) and elsewhere, and several people in the audience volunteered to help in various ways. I/ITSEC also held its first session ever on games and training this year.

SERIOUS GAMES DC. I Amtraked down for the first Serious Games DC conference put on by the Woodrow Wilson Center's Foresight and Governance Project (Dave Rejeski, Ben Sawyer). Interesting attencdees, many from various government groups. A lot of interest in gaming as a tool, but a lot of floundering about how to get started using it. Demos of America's Army, Mass Balance, Incident Commander, and an upcoming NASA game, Space Station:SIM.

NOTE: As more and more groups, (government, lawyers, etc.) begin to get interested in the games space, we need to provide them with tools to get up to speed on what has been done in the past BEFORE they get together and ask all the same, naive questions. The site is one way. The site is another. Any additional suggestions?

JERRY'S RETREAT. I had the good fortune to be invited to Jerry Michalski's annual retreat, an eclectic group of very smart people mostly in the social software space. A number of interesting ideas emerged. One that I initiated is using social software to link up patients and doctors in a more efficient manner. We now have a wiki and a mailing list set up on this. If you are interested in this area, please send me an email ( and I'll add you to the list.

Posted by Marc at 03:47 PM


This has been a good but crazy Nov-Dec, as I ran around to speak at and attend a variety of conferences.

DiGRA. I presented on Military Games and Corporate Games at the first DiGRA (Digital Games Reasearch Association) conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It was better than I had expected. Lots of eager young people attending, and researchers from all over the world. Interesting info, but next time presenters should not be allowed to just read their papers - we can all do that on our own! Utrecht is a magical place - well worth visiting.

RAND. I presented at the RAND CORPORATION in DC. The premise was that digital technology, by changing young peoples' thinking and then changing their behaviors, is now changing society. Got good feedback.

NESTA. I spoke (on Games and Learning) at the NESTA FUTURELAB conference on assessment in Bristol, England. I learned a new piece of evaluation jargon: in addition to Formative (helpful) and Summative (measuring) feedback there is also "Ipsitive" (measuring agaist your own progress) feedback. The concepts are useful, but the Jar-Gon never ends!

BBC. While in England, I had two good sessions with the BBC, which is more and more concerned with learning. They have recently landed, among other things, the contract to do England's "digital curriculum." We had an excellent discussion session on games and learning with people from around the company, and I gave a presentation as well. Who ever thought I would be speaking to the BBC!

Posted by Marc at 03:11 PM