One of KC Phillips’s favorite video games is the Xbox shoot-’em-up Halo, because, he says, his dad taught him how to play it when he was younger. Now 15 and a high school sophomore in Madison, Wis., KC views the game with a more discerning eye.
Last year, he played Gamestar Mechanic, an educational video game that asks players to solve a set of puzzles in order to win enough power to design and create their own video games. KC is one of a growing number of children who are playing educational video games as part of their school curriculum, in after-school programs or via the Web from home.
After years of watching technology transform the way children play, socialize and learn, a range of academics, foundations and now start-ups are working on games that will put the passion children have for the genre to good use.
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(The New York Times 11.01.09)