Fuelled by the current depressing state of educational games, designers Brainworth have created a new game hoping to energise the market.
Var and the Vikings is a fresh take on educational gaming that teaches artificial intelligence programming through a hybrid puzzler/platform game. The game manages to integrate its educational content seamlessly so that players don’t actually realise they are learning while they process the game mechanics. Players control one Viking, and then use an artificial intelligence interface to automate their Viking team mates. When they succeed the Viking then navigates the platform by jumping over hurdles, fighting against enemies, and pushing obstacles out the way.
Ben Sand, the CEO of Brainworth has said that “Improving education is the most pressing moral issue we face. Educational games are the strongest answer to this challenge.”
The United States spend over $1 trillion a year on education but only $21 billion on video games. However many students spend more time gaming than studying, and thus if educational games were manufactured so that people actually wanted to play them, games such as this could be seen as a fix to the education problems in the US and beyond.
The Kickstarter campaign for Var and the Vikings ends on Sunday March 23rd, by which point they hope to have raised $31,000. Brainworth hope to develop Var and the Vikings by adding new levels, creating a multiplayer mode, and eventually an ipad version. But whats more Brainworth hope to “change education forever with serious games that are incredibly fun and engaging.”