About the Education Arcade
The Education Arcade explores games that promote learning through authentic and engaging play. TEA’s research and development projects focus both on the learning that naturally occurs in popular commercial games, and on the design of games that more vigorously address the educational needs of players. Our mission is to demonstrate the social, cultural, and educational potentials of videogames by initiating new game development projects, coordinating interdisciplinary research efforts, and informing public conversations about the broader and sometimes unexpected uses of this emerging art form in education.
Education Arcade projects have touched on mathematics, science, history, literacy, and language learning, and have been tailored to a wide range of ages. They have been designed for personal computers, handheld devices and on-line delivery.
The Education Arcade was established by leading scholars of digital games and education. Researchers at MIT explored key issues in the use of a wide variety of media in teaching and learning through the Games-to-Teach Project, a Microsoft-funded initiative with MIT Comparative Media Studies that ran between 2001 and 2003. The project resulted in a suite of conceptual frameworks designed to support learning across math, science, engineering, and humanities curricula. Working with top game designers from industry and with faculty across MIT's five schools, researchers produced 15 game concepts with supporting pedagogy that showed how advanced math, science and humanities content could be uniquely blended with state-of-the-art game play.
Having sponsored several annual conferences with the Entertainment Software Association at its E3Expo in Los Angeles and having now completed a series of landmark research projects in the field, the Education Arcade looks ahead to help drive new innovations by partnering with educational publishers, media companies, and game developers. Several challenges have severely limited broader development and availability of educational games in the market, including the collapse of the CD-ROM software market, the failure of educational media in retail spaces, strict state adoption requirements, expensive production costs, and limited collaboration across the variety of disciplines needed to create compelling and educationally viable interactive media. By working with partners in a variety of media, the Education Arcade aims to help overcome these formidable challenges by focusing on an initial set of strategically targeted, educationally proven, and expertly developed and produced on-line computer games that will be distributed through desktop computers and mobile devices.