Many professional associations are taking a second look at eLearning for revenue generation or for recruitment appeal to the next generation to take interest in their profession. Today Web Courseworks’ games and simulations group released an educational game on the Internet casual game circuit. The game Gridlock Buster is designed to engage and motivate teens and young adults to seek out more information about traffic engineering. The Institute of Traffic Studies (ITS) at the University of Minnesota funded the game to supplement a classroom-based summer camp curriculum. Associations responsible for increasing teenager interest in a specific occupations should visit Krongregate and play.
Since Web Courseworks’ game developer Joe Rheaume’s Chronotron game has received over 10 million online plays to date, the team at Web Courseworks was well-prepared to take on the challenge. Jury is still out as to the demographic appeal—or whether this game will reach viral levels of play. We do know this much: Kongregate, the YouTube of video games, and similar casual gaming sites post over 16,000 games, so the competition is stiff. My prediction is that Gridlock Buster will generate more plays on the Internet than in classroom instruction.
I want to thank the folks at ITS (Chen-Fu Liao-the game’s originator, leader, Shawn Haag , along with Stephanie Malinoff, and Linda Preisen) for having the courage to reach out via this new channel. Visionary Educational Technologist David Glick, who developed the paper-based curriculum also deserves a lot of credit. Also, thanks to all the creative folks at Web Courseworks—especially Joe Rheaume, Andy Hicken, Asia Comeau, and Michelle Koffel. Very cool stuff.