Where Have All the (Educational) Games Gone?

With 91% of children ages 2 to 17 playing videogames at home (NPD, 2011), on average of seven hours per week (Woodard & Gridina, 2000), researchers and game developers are increasingly interested in the poten tial of implementing videogames or game-like environments into classrooms (e.g., see Baek, 2008). However, there are many challenges that prevent the implementation of video games in educational settings (Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, p.63), and many educational games that are presented as under development in academic settings do not reach homes or classrooms. Through analysis of survey-based responses provided by educational game developers, producers, and marketers, this paper examines the barriers and difficulties that impede the development and availability of educational games. Findings indicate that the biggest challenge educational game developers face are finding collaborators to ensure subject-area accuracy and learning integrity. We discuss the implications of this and other findings for the educational game community.

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