Online gaming has never been more popular, and through gamification this notion of rewarding certain behaviours is creeping into the workplace. For the most part however, the recreational gaming and the gamification worlds have kept apart.
Zynga.org are hoping to change that however. They're a nonprofit offshoot of the well known Zynga gaming company, and they're teaming up with NewSchools Venture Fund to help support educational entrepreneurs.
The two will form an education technology accelerator that will focus on the use of games to improve learning. The new group will be hosted at Zynga's San Francisco headquarters, with Zynga employees encouraged to volunteer and collaborate with companies participating in the scheme.
In addition to gaining expertise, participating companies will benefit from the $1 million in funding that Zynga.org has committed to the project for year one.
"We're excited about the learning potential of games," said Ken Weber, Executive Director, Zynga.org. "Through the efforts of Zynga.org, we've shown that social games can impact peoples' lives for the better, and we're honored to collaborate with NewSchools, a proven leader in the education technology space, on this accelerator. We want to help entrepreneurs create high quality, scalable learning games that will enhance learning experiences for all 21 century students."
"We're proud to partner with Zynga.org on this project, which brings together the world's leader in social gaming, the top K-12 education impact investor and an initial cohort of all-star entrepreneurs," said Ted Mitchell, CEO, NewSchools. "Together, we are excited to push the boundaries of how students learn through educational games."
Amongst the initial companies invited into the scheme are Kidaptive, LocoMotiveLabs and Motion Math.
"Zynga and NewSchools are creating the perfect environment to take educational gaming to the next level," said P.J. Gunsagar, Co-Founder and CEO, Kidaptive. "This collaboration of educators, game designers, and technologists has the potential to transform the way we motivate and teach kids. We at Kidaptive are thrilled and honored to be a part of the Zynga NewSchools accelerator and are excited to support the mission of improving educational outcomes for all kids."