Happy 2018! It’s a new year, and a time when millions of people make resolutions with the aim of bettering themselves, their lives and/or the world around them. The idea of resolutions is admirable, even if only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. (You don’t need to be good at math to know the odds of seeing a resolution through are pretty low.) The good news is since we’re only on Day 3, there’s a decent chance you might still be sticking to yours.
7 Generation Games is here to help. Well, when we can… For example, if your resolution is lose 10 pounds, I don’t want to say you’ve come to the wrong place, but we probably can’t do a ton to help you out there beyond say, “Hey, stop reading those blog and go running.” (There, see we can even help you with that.) Back from your run? Already happy with your weight? We help you tackle other popular resolutions below.
Resolution: Learn another language.
We can help you there! In 2017, we launched three bilingual games – AzTech: The Story Begins and AzTech: Meet the Maya plus we rolled out a bilingual version of Making Camp. (You can get them all here. You can also get Making Camp Bilingual on the web.) The initial purpose of our bilingual games was to teach English to Spanish-speaking English-language learners, but we also started seeing people using our games for the reverse – that is to learn Spanish. And that’s awesome too. The reality is language is best learned in context. After all, when you were learning to speak, your parents didn’t sit you down as a toddler and say, “Here’s how we conjugate the verb ‘to do’” or “Let’s memorize a bunch of random words from a list.” Instead, they just talked to you and you picked it up, largely in the context of the conversation, and so that’s how we teach it in our games. On every page, the audio, video and/or text can switched back and forth from English to Spanish and back again. Check it out.
Resolution: Learn a new skill
The whole point of our games is to teach math – and math is a REALLY important skill. Honestly, you need it for everything from basic financial literacy to skills for almost any job you might want. Yes, there’s all this talk about the importance of coding. And while some people will say you don’t have to be that good at math to code, we say, 1. it depends on what you mean by coding (to be doing the kind of programming that takes to make our games, you totally have to know math) and 2. at the very least you need to understand basic arithmetic and some algebra (which our games cover). Whether your kids are learning math skills for the very first time or you’re brushing up your skills (after all, do you remember how to divide fractions?), we’ve got you covered.
Resolution: Spend less money
I read this really amazing piece by Ann Patchett in the NY Times about a year of not shopping – as in for things like clothes and handbags and other non-essentials (obviously, she bought food and such). I don’t know if I could do that, but I like the idea. Plus spending less money is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Two of our games, Making Camp and AzTech: The Story Begins are free, so you can’t spend less money than that. AzTech: Meet the Maya and Making Camp: Bilingual are less than $2, so you’re spending much there as well. With all our games coming in under $10, we’re proving you can make cool games without making people break the bank.
Resolution: Spend more quality time with your family
This is an admirable resolution and seems like a great plan until you sit down to do it, declaring, “Everyone put the devices away, we’re going to just enjoy being together.” Your middle schooler rolls her eyes at you like it’s the dumbest thing she’s ever heard you say and within five minutes of “family bonding” time you’re elementary schooler is saying, “I’m bored. Can’t I just go on iPad?” In the digital area, why not have family “game night” center around video games that you can do together? One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get from parents is how our games have their kids asking them to help solve math problems. Imagine that. Instead of telling your kid, “Hey, you need to study math,” what if they came to you and said, “Hey, I’m working on this problem in the game and I need to figure out in mixed form how many deer we need for the winter. How do you do that?” (Within our games we also have “explain it” and “hint” buttons where you can get help on solving the problems.) Kids love playing video games. Why not spend some quality time playing them together.
Resolution: Do good
For lack of sounding redundant, this is a good resolution. We’re big believers in John Wesley’s:
Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.
We’re trying to do that every day in improving kids math scores so that they can have the best shot at a possible future. One way you can help us do that is by donating a game license – which we provide to schools or youth-serving programs at no cost to them. You can donate a single game license or sponsor a school or entire class.
Like learning math, keeping to resolutions likely isn’t going to to be about making a huge change overnight, but incremental progress in the direction of your goal. And just like with math, if happen to get it wrong, you can always try again and get it right next time.
Here’s to a great 2018!