games and developers

Let’s support the education of games developers… through games

Digital skills champion Ian Livingstone discusses an ambitious new project that hopes to upskills the UK’s aspiring games creators.

It may sound obvious, but there’s an implicit understanding amongst games designers and gamers that action equals progression. You want to get that achievement or experience that win state? OK, then… do something.

This very basic principle of player engagement fuels our entire industry output. But why can’t it help fuel our input too? We know we need to develop strong maths and physics skills for our industry – and highlight their importance in good games. But what are we actually doing about it?

This is the idea behind Age of Algorithms: a new online maths game developed by London Geometry and funded by Creative Skillset, the creative industries’ skills body, of which I’m a patron.

The aim, quite simply, is to help develop maths skills by making explicit the underlying maths and physics that lie behind deceptively simple games like Angry Birds.

Talking to fifty head teachers recently, I put a quadratic equation on the screen and asked who could solve it. One solitary hand went up. We learn maths as a pure discipline, it’s abstract and it hangs in space. People easily forget things like quadratic equations and can’t even remember why they learned them in the first place.

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