New Platform Lets Kids Learn by Building Games

A new game-based learning platform, which utilizes “the principles of game design as a form of 21st Century skill building,” officially launched today.

Gamestar Mechanic is browser-based and runs on both PC and Mac platforms. Published by E-Line Media, with support from the Institute of Play, initial funding of the game’s development was provided by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to the Institute of Play.

Three components contribute to Gamestar Mechanic: “Quests, with exciting adventure games that provide critical scaffolding for the core principles of game design; a Player Workshop, featuring easy-to-use drag-and-drop game creation tools; and Game Alley, a community where players can publish their games, discover, play and review the games of their peers and enter great game design competitions.”

It’s promised that Gamestar Mechanic is simple enough to be used for a single media lab session, yet vigorous enough to power a semester-long game design elective.

Users will also be eligible to enter Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and President Obama’s National STEM Video Game Challenge.

Gamestar Mechanic is free to use, and a premium option ($5.95 per month) offers additional game making and personalization benefits. It’s targeted at kids in the fourth to ninth-grade age range.

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