Choosing to design themselves as either a dog or a cat, the child's character learns to interact with a group of fanciful on-screen animals in socially acceptable ways. For example, there's a scene where you hold your breath rather than get angry.
Using a variety of design principles and mechanics, video games and virtual worlds have served as the epitome of the digital learning experience long before iPad apps, MOOCs and other digital learning environments invaded the educational world.
Although educational interactive games are not new, I am encouraged that there may be an exciting trend developing to enable young people to learn about and take action to impact the world and its issues.
In a tough economy where painful education cuts are the norm, it is more important than ever to create an affordable -- and in this case fun -- engine for teaching skills to our children. Why does this work so well?