By Oscar Tong / September 27th, 2012
UPDATE: Howard Philips has altered his stretch goals. If he reaches 4x his goal (US$200,000), he will port his Know-It-All to Android. At 20x his goal (US$1,000,000), he will port it to Windows Phone, along with the HTML5 version for this level. He has also uploaded a gameplay video:
Read the original article below.
Howard Phillips, former president of the Nintendo Fun Club and a game industry veteran of over three decades, has begun a Kickstarter campaign for an educational puzzle game he designed to challenge “inefficient, laborious, and boring” traditional learning methods. Gamemaster Howard’s Know-It-All aims to help players learn by targeting their peripheral consciousness rather than directly engaging them in a learning activity. Gameplay becomes the focus, with learning as a byproduct. This contradicts conventional edutainment wisdom, which tends to emphasize learning at the expense of gameplay.
Fun, effortless learning is a promise many edutainment titles have made before—and have failed to deliver on. Phillips believes his system will actually work.
“Know-It-All is different,” explains Phillips in a video overview (embedded below). “Instead of focusing on the laborious, effortful recall that we typically torture ourselves with with [sic] flashcards, it focuses on effortless recall, the kind that just happens naturally when you’re not attending to something directly, but you’re still exercising it in your peripheral.”
Phillips then elaborates on the science behind Know-It-All: “We each have two distinct memory systems within our brains that operate independently of each other. The first and most commonly understood system requires conscious effort to recall facts. The second system is really interesting: it is automatic and just happens without any conscious effort.”
The Kickstarter campaign requires US$50,000 to succeed. Unusually, instead of conventional stretch-goal milestones, it has “goal multipliers” (2x, 5x, 10x, etc.). Gamemaster Howard’s Know-It-All is being developed for iOS, but will also be developed for Android and HTML5 if funding reaches the 20x multiplier level (i.e., US$1,000,000) and also for the Wii, Kinect, and the Ouya if funding reaches the 100x multiplier level (i.e., US$5,000,000).
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