One Spark Reflection 2014
Our return to One Spark this year was nostalgic and rewarding, especially since we were part of the EdSpark Venue this year: the first curated educational innovation venue. This meant we had over 1,000 kids go through the venue as part of field trips, and a perfect place for anyone to stop that was interested in education especially.
We finished up a game prototype with 3 quests that our founders and interns have been working on for months just in time for the show! It felt great to show the people at One Spark our progress since last year when we were first going public about our idea.
We were, once again, featured in TechFaster! Here I gave a brief pitch of the project and sneak peak of our developing prototype. You can find more pitches from some of the other fabulous teams here as well!
What was even more satisfying than sharing our idea with the public was being able to garner feedback from the kids and parents as they played the game. One kid sat down and exclaimed, “this is better than Minecraft!” I assured him we aren’t there quite yet, but are on the way and appreciated the reaction.
Alongside our prototype, we wanted to show an example of an activity we could suggest to extend gameplay into the real world. One of the prototype quests is a social good sustainability quest where players sort types of waste into landfill trash, recycling, and compost. To accompany this, we created an upcycling Build-a-Bot activity where kids (of all ages) could make a robot of their own using trash and recycled items.
We also held a contest so that the two robots with the most Facebook likes would be made into in-game rewards for that quest in the future! We received over 130 contest submissions and had great responses online.
After tallying up the votes recently, we determined the winning upcycled robots!
- Demitri’s Robot got 24 likes!
- Nathaniel’s robot got 20 likes!
They will both be made as options for an in-game recycling quest reward!
Similarly to last year, the response we have been receiving has been overwhelmingly positive! This year, parents seem even more ready. While we had to really explain why gaming could be positive last year, this year after our mission of “harnessing the addictive power of video games for learning,” parents are often immediately sold!
Everyone seems to love the concept of an engaging MMORPG for education and especially in this rich, futuristic and story-driven world that we are creating. There is a long way to go, but it is great to know we are on the right track and kids that don’t normally game were even excited about having an interesting educational game option.
Thanks again to our lovely friends at One Spark and the Schultz Center for running EdSpark!