Almost 30 years ago, I was teaching in a middle school for students who were severely emotional disturbed. I had the idea that if I could make a game to teach them mathematics, they could be keeping up with their academics while the school counselors, therapists and group home staff worked on their emotional issues. Of course, the options for computer games back then were limited to text. I did make a couple of games, but then I went off into statistics, my husband was injured in an accident and then passed away – so, life intervened. I ran a statistical consulting company to pay the bills and take care of the children.
Fast forward to now, with children raised and computer technology light years ahead of where things were when I was in graduate school, we have our first game, Spirit Lake, on the market and our second game in beta.
Where do the games people donate go? Recently, I was at a school and had the privilege to do a demonstration for one of their classrooms of children requiring individualized instruction. You can see the entire class surrounding the one computer playing Spirit Lake.
With over 1,000 students and over 85% of them qualified for free and reduced price lunch, the school has a high demand for resources to meet the students’ needs and not nearly enough budget. When the teacher and administrators said,
“We really need a game like this for our students.”
… we were able to hand them a couple of gift bags with flash drives of games to install on all of their computers, thanks to your donations. We also included materials from us – posters, pens, notebooks – as incentives for students who won the game.
Watching the students gave me satisfaction that money can’t buy. This kind of interest in learning math is why I make games.
To those who donate games for schools – thank you for getting them to students.
P.S. We get asked all of the time if individuals can purchase the games for their personal use. Absolutely! Click on the red purchase button at the top of the site. We know that some adults and high school students play our games, too. It’s okay. We won’t tell. Well, maybe Jessica might. You have to watch her.