Friday, September 16, 2011

Valve wants to see their games in classrooms

Valve, in an attempt to get more educators to use their games as a teaching tool, has made the PC version of original Portal game available for free until September 20th.

The promotion website claims that the series is a valuable asset for teaching children, saying, "Using interactive tools like the Portal series to draw them in makes physics, math, logic, spatial reasoning, probability, and problem-solving interesting, cool, and fun which gets us one step closer to our goal—engaged, thoughtful kids!"

This is not the first time that video games have been employed in an educational setting. The tradition goes back a long way, as I can recall playing the Logical Journey Of The Zoombinis in my third-grade computer classes. China has been using video games for several years to teach situational skills and citizenship. Last year, the White House announced an educational challenge that utilized video games.

Let's shift our focus back to Valve, as this is also an interesting marketing tactic. Traditionally, video games are a common business-to-consumer product. However, this us example of video games being marketed in a business-to-business market (Valve-to-Educators). One of oldest tenets of marketing is that a great way to encourage more consumption of your product is by finding new uses for it (for example, putting baking soda in your fridge to kill odors).

With clever applications being developed for traditional mouse-and-keyboard games, it makes me wonder what lies ahead - especially with the advent of motion gaming.

To anyone interested in taking advantage of the offer:

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