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

--------------------------------------------------

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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Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
InfophileRobotech may be 30 years old, but it's actually aged pretty well. Plus, one of the three Japanese franchises that went into making it, Macross, is coming out with a new series soon. So it's far from forgotten or out-of-date03/27/2015 - 6:50am
ZippyDSMleePapa Midnight: Care to take a look at this and tell me what you think about it? http://www.amazon.com/Frisby-FS-5010BT-Surround-Speakers-Bluetooth/dp/B00EYX1N2S/03/26/2015 - 10:27pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I think he means both.03/26/2015 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeuhg either a nap after being up 30 hours or working on my comp blah. Oh wow when did the the all shout box page show 3 times as many shouts 0-o03/26/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - Sony in particular or Hollywood in general?03/26/2015 - 7:38pm
Matthew Wilson@mach no way in hell, so that is why I want them to stay away.03/26/2015 - 7:21pm
MechaCrash"Get the movie right" is preferable to "stay away," but do you really think they won't screw it up?03/26/2015 - 7:19pm
Craig R.And yes, 90's games. Damn near all of my fav computer & console games were from that decade03/26/2015 - 7:00pm
Craig R.I'd take the NCAA seriously if they'd bite instead of bark03/26/2015 - 6:59pm
Andrew EisenConster - Sure, give me a few minutes.03/26/2015 - 3:05pm
Consterhttp://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/03/26/salesforce-ceo-says-company-is-cancelling-all-programs-in-indiana-over-lgbt-discrimination-fears/ http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/25/politics/mike-pence-religious-freedom-bill-gay-rights/index.html03/26/2015 - 2:55pm
ConsterApparently Salesforce and the NCAA are also upset over SB 101. I know they're not video-games related, but maybe add a line to the article?03/26/2015 - 2:54pm
Andrew EisenThat said, I doubt that if the movie gets made, it will be similar to either version of the show. But, Star Wars movies will be out again and the designs are still pretty awesome so it's got a chance.03/26/2015 - 2:34pm
 

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