The Value of Community

A room full of smart people working on educational games.

In gaming, they talk a lot about the communities – the overall gaming community, the Steam community (get us on Steam today!), a game-specific community. Education is the same way – the homeschool community, the charter school community, smaller PTA-type communities. One of the great things about these kinds of communities is the way they bring together groups of people with similar interests, who might never otherwise connect.

I got home yesterday from 36 hours in DC where I attended the Ed Games Expo. The annual expo is the kind of event I like because you not only get to tell people about what you do, but the whole event is centered around people – with kids invited – actually playing your games.

Here’s what else I like about the expo and what I commend the Department of Education for doing with the event – which brings together not just their companies, but companies from agencies like NSF, USDA (that would be us!) and others: it reminds me that we are not alone.

Creating educational games is a grind, and it’s nice to meet other people who are in the grind with you. And that’s what it’s like when I get to meet other SBIR awardees who are making educational games. It’s being able to trade stories and even commiserate with other people who are going through what you’re going through. It’s being able to connect with other people who say, “They say they want you to have this crazy number of users, but don’t you want to make sure your game actually teaches kids first?” People who recognize that building games takes a really, really long time. People who get that “No, it’s not just as easy as asking a school to pilot your game and they’ll do it” and that’s exponentially hard to get schools to buy them. People who recognize that conducting and analyzing actual research is important and isn’t something that you can do in two weeks. And the list goes on. The ED Games Expo and game company-centered events around it really highlighted the great work and great people in the educational game development community, and it’s a community that we’re proud to be a part of.

When you look at the overall state of education in this country, it can be depressing. But fixing that is why we are doing the work we’re doing at 7 Generation Games, and there’s a lot of other really smart and hardworking people working to fix different areas of that same problem – from preschool readiness to social emotional learning to math and more. Together, I really hope we can.

Want to check out the part we’re working on? Buy 7 Generation Games today

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