There's no doubt that video games have the power to hold kids' attention for hours, but what if you could teach them while they were playing, without pushing it on them? That's what Ryan and Lindsey Tropf are hoping to do with their new game, Tyto Online. Currently on Kickstarter (see the sidebar for the donation page), they are hoping to fund the first learning module of their MMO, which will focus on ecology at the middle school level.
(Gainesville, FL) Video games and education may sound like they don’t belong in the same world. In fact, some would think they’re direct competitors for our youth’s attention. But one ambitious company is looking to change all that with their new futuristic learning game, Tyto Online.Ryan and Lindsey Tropf started out as gamers, solving problems and battling heroically in fantasy worlds like World of Warcraft.“I had learned so much, without trying, through the act of play. I knew thousands of items, strategies, and approaches. I knew so much, but not much of it really mattered outside of the game world…” said Lindsey, who realized what a powerful medium games can be for learning.Seven years later, their mission: harnessing the addictive power of video games for learning.A recent Kickstarter Campaign, which was launched on July 10th, will help fund their learning game, Tyto Online. The $50,000 campaign has raised over $36,000 as of July 25th and proposes to fund the basic features, including networking and a customizable character and room, and the first learning module of the game.The first learning module focuses on middle school ecology. In the game, students will explore various ecosystems housed in futuristic biodomes, solve problems through quests, discover new plants and animals, and have the experience of creating their own ecosystem simulation to apply and extend their learning in a creative way.Immersed Games, the company they founded to create Tyto Online, plans to continue expanding, releasing additional modules over time, until they have covered multiple subjects of material for students in 3rd-12th grade. In this way, they will be creating a game-based learning platform where students can engage in exploratory learning and discover new subjects and educational content.Potential backers have pledged donations in exchange for creative rewards such as naming a street or designing a character. To learn more please visit www.tyto-online.com.