Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

February 11, 2010 -

A new project co-founded by a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student is creating educational games for extremely affordable computers that are gaining popularity in developing nations.

PlayPower grew from an idea Derek Lomas had while attending a conference in India, where he noticed that families were snatching up $12 computer systems right and left. The 8-bit computers are not very powerful, but the processor that powers the PC (the MOS 6502, which powered the Apple II and Nintendo NES) is in the public domain, meaning that development is relatively easy and inexpensive.

Lomas told the Post Gazette, “It doesn't require a $50 million development budget to make a great game.”

The PlayPower team is currently at work on three games, two of which feature the Hindu deity Hanuman. One Hanuman-starring title will teach users how to type, with the hopes that such a skill could translate into better job opportunities, while the second is a multiple-choice quiz-type game. The third title in development will try to raise awareness of malaria.

Lomas added, “I think that many of the more powerful educational effects of the system can be in the way it changes a kid's interest and ambitions.”

Lomas anticipates that all three games can be finished this year. He also hopes to build a relationship with those selling the computers so that PlayPower’s software can be bundled in.

Over 1,000 volunteers from around the world are already on-board to assist in game development. PlayPower also hopes to harness the growing 8-bit retro community for assistance in future releases.


Comments

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

anyone else recall the C.O.P.S. from Sam & Max right now?

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

Sorta, but it's losing out to my memory of the cartoon show.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

"The PlayPower team is currently at work on three games, two of which feature the Hindu deity Hanuman."

I know they got the idea from India, but why exactly do you think a Hindu deity will work well in the US?

Also, I look forward to that self-appoited spokesman of Hindus everywhere sounding off again.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

Its not clear, but I don't think they are targeting US audiences with these games. I would suspect that they would target the Indian market in which they witnessed the mass purchasing of 8bit computers.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

Yeah, that would make more sense. But I still look forward to that "I speak for the whole of Hinduism" douche maybe starting up again over this :-P

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Old Tech Powers New Opportunities

If people are buying the $12 computers left and right then it shoul be a no brainer to make software for it.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

 
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Papa MidnightIt's not bad so far, but I am honestly not sure what to make of it (or where it's going for that matter)07/28/2014 - 9:44pm
Matthew Wilsonis it any good?07/28/2014 - 9:36pm
Papa Midnight"Love Child" on HBO -- anyone else watching this?07/28/2014 - 9:27pm
MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
 

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