Play is the universal mechanism for learning. Humans may try to make education serious and rigid but mammals have this amazing ability to have fun while they learn- a brilliant evolutionary adaptation encouraging us to master complex skills while enjoying the experience.
So we should think about games as more than entertainment. How can they inject a bit of education without us even knowing it? Take for example, gravity. How’d you learn about this invisible yet very important concept? Perhaps by throwing food off the side of your highchair? Or tossing a ball to your dad? Both pretty simple and amusing activities infused with valuable lessons.
Which brings me to Peck Peck. Our WORKer in Residence, Jeffrey Ventrella, with the help of Barry Stump and the support of many-a-coWORKer, is off and running with an intriguing project to create simple yet engaging games imbued with the laws of nature. Peck Peck may be a silly little creature that likes to poop (every kid’s favorite!) but the cycle of poop, seed, flower is the beginning of a larger understanding of ecology. Watch little Sophia light up as she plays with this animated cycle and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Taking Peck Peck on a larger adventure is the next step, and thus the motivation for a new Kickstarter campaign. After loads of brainstorming and enthusiastic responses from the WORK community, the project is taking hold and gaining momentum. Only one week in and already a third of the way to its funding goal, Peck Peck’s Journey: A Picture Book That Spawns Virtual Life is poised to tackle the play/learn challenge by creating a unique bit of magic when it mashes together the real world and the virtual world into a special alternate reality that can spark the imagination and translate larger ideas of genetics, gravity, life cycle, and ecology into small bits of fun. Now that’s a game worth playing.
Written by Natasha Juliana of WORK Petaluma- the awesome coWORKing space where creative minds gather.