As gamers have long known, games of all kinds can be excellent teachers - from Monopoly money to Minecraft construction. Even Civilization taught an entire generation political strategy. This is an opportunity to take advantage of game mechanics to expand the educational power of games. The engagement and behavior change capabilities offered by gaming can help us plough the frontier of assessment.

We are interested not just in what your game can teach, but what it can reliably and measurably assess about knowledge, skills, and behavior.

The judging criteria may be adjusted between now and April 22, when the Hackathon officially launches. We will be looking for digital games on any platform that do the following:

1. Reliably, measurably assesses some academic-, career-, or life-relevant skill for students. You define who your student users are - kindergartners? Nurses in training? Martians?

2. Engages and entertain users. If it's no more fun than taking the SAT, whats the point?

3. Uses in-game evidence as part of the assessment method.

On May 16th, your pitch should demonstrate the your creation's ability to assess, engage, and innovate on current education gaming models. There will also be an opportunity to showcase your prototype with other developers, gaming students, judges, and education industry executives. You will be provided a table to set up your showcase, and a template power point deck on which to build your pitch.

Your game must be presented live on May 16th in Phoenix to be eligible for prizes. Teams with non-local members are welcome.

To get started:

  1. Sign up for Hackathon.io and join the Game CoLab Education Hackathon no later than 11:58pm May 14, 2014.

  2. Build an awesome game.

  3. Create a new project in the "Projects" tab no later than 11:59pm May 14, 2014. Your project must include a video demo, link to your code, OR a link to a functioning prototype. The more information you give us about your creation, the better.

  4. Showcase and pitch your game in Phoenix, AZ from 6-8pm on May 16, 2014 at the University of Advancing Technology at 2625 W Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283.

If you'd like, take advantage of Pearson content APIs (found here at: https://developer.pearson.com/apis/), including dictionaries, recipes, images, books and more! Use of the APIs is completely optional, but they are a great source of free, pre-tagged content for your game. If you don't know what an API is and don't want to start now? No worries!

All developers get 5,000 API calls or queries a month for free, but get unlimited calls for the duration the hackathon with code:

uGZeJISGvvwOnLlj0Mxz9TTOFGMArGzP

Let the games begin.

Judges:

Collin Sellman, Pearson

Collin is the director of product management for digital platforms. He is responsible for researching new features and bringing them to market. He works extensively with both current and prospective customers to better understand both their short terms needs and what strategies they are seeking to implement over the longer term. He also works with strategic customers in developing partnerships to launch new educational models and products.

David Foster, Pearson

Father of four, culture hacker, proud geek and Principle Architect, David works with the product and development teams at Pearson responsible for developing the SuccessMaker and Gradpoint products.

Mario Vassaux, Up & Atom

Vassaux was a principal and vice president of operations for Formgen, which published more than 50 interactive entertainment titles and launched retail hits like Duke Nukem 3D, Doom and Wolfenstein. In addition, he was CEO and founder of Ionos, where he forged a new interactive entertainment publishing and revenue sharing model with developers. In all, Vassaux has participated in bringing more than 100 game titles to the market. Vassaux has also recently created new, patent-pending technology tools designed for use with mobile devices and multi-player games.

Jeff Holmes, ASU

Jeff Holmes is a Founding Graduate Fellow at the Center for Games and Impact at Arizona State University, a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition in the Department of English, and a life-long gamer. His research focuses on how communities collectively construct identities, how users conceptualize their actions in both virtual and non-virtual space, and how gaming and play extend to multiple sites beyond the traditional boundaries of “gamespace.” In particular, he is interested in persistent virtual worlds such as Word of Warcraft, and the people dedicated to creating, maintaining, and changing these spaces. He has a level-capped Hunter as well as a stable of way too many alts.