EA founder: games need to monetize and educate

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So much better than Mavis Beacon teaches typing

The DICE Summit is underway in Las Vegas, which means that plenty of big names in gaming are giving presentations on what we need to see in the future of the industry. EA and Digital Chocolate founder Trip Hawkins argued that companies and developers need to learn to monetize effectively and change perception of gaming.

According to Hawkins, developers are trained for making products, but they don’t know how to monetize those games. He believes that it’s an issue that will be resolved, but needs to be approached systematically.

We have to learn how to monetize. Everyone’s struggled with it. In next five years we’ll get to be more systematic with it… I know we’re all going to figure this one out. We must get a lot smarter at virtual goods as a science.

But it’s not just about the money for Hawkins – he believes gaming needs to play a bigger role in education. He’s launched a new company, If You Can, which is developing a game targeted at kids aged 6-12 to teach emotional intelligence and combat bullying. However, he says games are still viewed as a “social ill” and resented by parents and teachers. He believes that changing the perception around games will only come when truly engaging, educational games become the norm. Looking at games like Minecraft, which has proven to be fun, popular and have educational uses, as well as a game like EA’s Madden, which is built around the NFL rulebook, he believes that there’s a chance to make games that are valuable and scalable. This, Hawkins believes, is how the industry can grow its revenues.

I may not agree with the whole thing, but I certainly think he makes a valid point. We are already moving to a stage where kids are expected to have iPads at schools. Whether or not you agree with it, digital learning will dominate and there are tons of opportunities for developers to make games that can become integrated into curricula. Typing of the Dead is a great way to learn typing while killing zombies with plenty of blood – c’mon, let’s get gory, violent ways of teaching everything!

Last Updated: February 6, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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