Here’s an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question.
The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The game also generates unique stories based on the course of play. The site says that it has been rolled out to “a number of US schools” as part of a pilot program, and should launch this year.
The game is said to be compatible with a number of platforms including the Amplify Tablet and iOS, which I imagine means it should work with plain-vanilla Android as well.
“Gamifying” has proven to be a pretty powerful strategy for getting people to do a lot of things. Some games don’t even have to be tailored to educational purposes to be used that way; here’s a story of how a woman used Minecraft to help her 9-year-old son Aspergers learn to read and write. It remains to be seen how successful this particular game will be at getting kids reading, but I can already tell you that I want to play it. This is a great use of material from the public domain, and another reason why it’s so vital that the public domain keeps growing.
And who knows? Perhaps down the road if it proves successful, they might be able to get publishers of in-copyright books to participate, too.