Why your mum is playing Farmville

I have some news for you, either it will come as a complete surprise or confirm your suspicions. Your Mum plays Farmville. Ok, ok, I don’t know your Mum and I can’t say for definite anything about her social gaming habits, but according to a recent study by PopCap Social Gaming the majority of social gamers are middle aged women.

Women are the most avid social gamers, with 58 percent of women from the UK admitting that they dabble in social gaming. The overall average age of social game players was 43 years old, with 46 percent of social gamers being at least 50 years old. Not only that, but 63 percent of social gamers are also parents, with their kids either living at home or having flown the nest. All this makes the likelihood of your Mum being hooked on a social game such as Farmville all the more likely.

If your mum has a full time job then the chances that she plays social games increases even further, as 41 percent of social gamers are in full-time employment. We’re not saying she isn’t busy juggling work and family life, but that social games offer the perfect gaming experience for people with hectic lives. Social games allow players to perform quick, small tasks such as planting crops and then returning later to harvest them at a time that suits them. Work days are often jam packed, but there are still a spare few minutes between meetings and lunch breaks when workers can play their favourite social game.

But beware, you may need to guard your Xbox from your mum from now on, as the study also says that 73 percent of social gamers also play other video games including casual and hardcore games.

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Welcome to iSchool

You may remember last week’s article about how schools are failing to engage with kids in ICT lessons. Well one school in Scotland is embracing the world of cutting edge technology in education and has bought every one of its 106 pupils an iPad. Pupils at the Cedars School of Excellence in Inverclyde will be using the iPads in lessons for a diverse array of subjects – everything from watching science experiments and plays on Youtube, to studying English, maths, history and languages on pre-approved websites.

The project has so far been very successful according to the school’s IT teacher, Fraser Speirs. He reckons that about 90% of parents have supported the use of iPads in classrooms and that the kids are loving their new gadgets. However, for many this is still a controversial move for the small independent school with concerns over costs and worries about touch screens replacing the more traditional pen and paper. Could this reflect a widening gap between access to technology at private and state schools? Although the introduction of iPads into the classroom may represent a new way of learning, it is simply out of reach for many state schools.

However, this does represent a golden opportunity for the developers of educational websites and games to become a part of this new digital world of learning, especially as more schools are likely to adopt this approach.

All I can say is “Lucky kids!” and refrain from grumbling, “Why, in my day….”

More on this story and an interview with Fraser Speirs here: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/interviews/360790/q-a-the-scottish-school-that-bought-all-its-pupils-ipads

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The Kids aren’t Alright with ICT – According to Royal Society study

Young people today are more engaged with technology than ever before. Most parents with teenage children will agree that their kids spend a large proportion of their time glued to computer or TV screens. Whilst many parents are left bewildered by the rapid development of technology, their tech-savvy kids seem to have an intuitive grasp. So, it may come as a surprise that whilst young people are spending hours on social networking sites and games consoles, very few of them are engaged by ICT classes in schools.

According to a study by the Royal Society, the number of pupils in England doing ICT GCSE has decreased by 33% over only 3 years. There was also a 33% fall in the number of pupils doing ICT at A-Level. The implications are bad news for the UK, meaning that we are failing to engage a generation of school kids and leaving them unskilled and ill-equipped for the future job market.

Unfortunately, ICT lessons in schools tend to be dull and outdated and so young people are being ‘turned off’ studying the subject and pursuing a career in ICT. The Royal Society is conducting research in association with 24 other organisations, into how this can be turned around.

One thing is for certain, young people need to be inspired and motivated by ICT and computer science lessons. Schools will have to think outside the box to get kids thinking about not what computers can do for them, but what they can do for computers.

How do you think young people can be encouraged to study ICT? What are your experiences of ICT lessons at school? Let us know!

Read more on this story here: http://www.bee-it.co.uk/blogslink/376-school-ict-lessons-a-turn-off-according-to-royal-society.html

And on how some schools are thinking outside the box: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10951040

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WeForest Update

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at Digital 2.0. We’ve moved into a bigger and somewhat shinier office space and it’s taking longer to make tea for everyone, which can only mean one thing! Children of the 80s have won the ‘Geek Factor’ competition and now the real work begins on developing the game so you lovely people are a step closer to having a go. So far we have a mini game called ‘Fruit Catcher’ that everyone in the office is hopelessly addicted to, with a bit of healthy internal competition to see who can get the highest score! There is nothing funnier than a grown adult yelling ‘I need a green apple!’ at a computer screen. Well, ok, there are probably plenty of funnier things out there but you get the idea. Hopefully this has whetted your appetites for the launch of the game at the end of October, if not these screen shots should grab your attention!

The ‘Fruit Catcher’ mini game we’re all hopelessly addicted to. Catch as many red fruit as possible and green fruit for time bonuses, but make sure you avoid those insects!

Does Fruit Catcher catch your eye? Have a go here and prepare to be addicted! You have been warned! https://digital2point0.box.net/shared/static/cha0umvf4u.swf

If you’re still dying for more information then you can visit our WeForest project page:


Or add us on facebook, we go by the name Reinventing Learning for Digital Play.

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Children Of The 80’s present…..ReForest

It’s finally here! After weeks of concepts, sketches, working, reworking, long hours, sweat and tears, Children Of The 80’s have put together a delectable dish of pre-alpha gameplay footage, animations and game mechanics all wrapped up lovingly in a three minute YouTube video! Grab some popcorn and a drink, sit back and enjoy the show…

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Competition Update – Week Two

Slightly later than I hoped for with our next update, we have some amazing work to show you this week…

You’ve already heard the teams ideas for their gameplay (oh you haven’t? click here then) now its time for the teams to put their money where their mouth is and show us some artwork! Below are a few pieces of concept art from each team, please share your thoughts on these and prepare yourselves to see actual gameplay very soon!

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Competition Update – Week One

So week one is over now and the teams have begun to form their game ideas already! This week instead of a long rambling blog post, here’s a lovely video of the teams taking you through their ideas…

Both teams would love to hear your feedback so feel free to post comments and feedback as they move into finalising the design and jumping into development, anyone can win at this point but bookmark us and you’ll be up to date with news as it happens…

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