School that uses game-based learning opens in NYC -- Boing Boing Offworld

Over on Boing Boing Offworld, our Brandon has an early look at Quest 2, a school in New York that's focused on game-based learning.

New York's Institute of Play has officially announced the foundation of Quest to Learn, a new school for "digital kids" that will be accepting its first 6th grade class this fall, which "uses the underlying design principles of games to create highly immersive, game-like learning experiences for students."


It’s important to note that Quest is not a school whose curriculum is made up of the play of commercial videogames, but rather a school that uses the underlying design principles of games to create highly immersive, game-like learning experiences.

Games and other forms of digital media serve another useful purpose at Quest: they serve to model the complexity and promise of “systems.” Understanding and accounting for this complexity is a fundamental literacy of the 21st century.

Man, that sounds good enough to move to NYC for.

NYC game-design inspired school Quest 2 Learn opening fall 2009

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Today on Offworld

Today on Offworld, Jim Rossignol came through with his regular Ragdoll Metaphysics column and, just as I'd hoped, gave the clearest explanation of the recent Goonswarm/Band of Brothers corporate dissolution in Eve Online as any I've read to date. It's a concise wrap-up for "the rest of us": how it happened, what it means in terms of dollars and man hours lost, and how it will shape the future of the game's universe.

Elsewhere we got an extended look at the upcoming iPhone puzzler Heroes and Villains (above), showing what exactly the developers meant when they called it "Lemmings meets The Lost Vikings meets Awesome", and saw what it might have been like if Grand Theft Auto IV was on the Spectrum ZX.

Finally, we saw another behind the scenes look at the making of Xbox Live Arcade beat-em-up Castle Crashers, were pleased to hear that the upcoming Left 4 Dead DLC will be free, coveted Pac-Man ghost lamps that we don't think actually exist, and, as linked before and most wonderfully, revealed that four Giant Robot artists and four indie game all-stars will be creating four new games to be publicly unveiled at a San Francisco exhibition at the end of GDC. Read the rest

Today on Offworld

Today on Offworld, we didn't see much better than this: 2D Boy co-founder and World of Goo maker Kyle Gabler (right) channeling... Tyra Banks? and giving his top 7 tips for indie devs about to make their first rapidly developed game, in his keynote for the inaugural Global Game Jam.

Elsewhere, we heard about a new version of EA and Steven Spielberg's Wii title Boom Blox and prepared for the release of an updated version of iPhone tower defense hit Fieldrunners, and dug through the huge number of winners of JayIsGames' best of 2008 games list.

We also danced to all of the things that Left 4 Dead's Francis hates (most of all, Ayn Rand), saw BAFTA announced an award for Pong/Atari head Nolan Bushnell, and saw Ico creator Fumito Ueda look back at the development of PS2 cult classic Shadow of the Colossus.

Finally, we saw a brilliant looking new PSP game that will give players 30 seconds at a time to fulfill their RPG quests, and, because I could, watched a fantastic new retro-pixel music video for Offworld favorite band Deerhoof. Read the rest

(BBtv) Blip Festival 2008: Joel interviews Jellica, Mr. Spastic, and Nullsleep

(Flash video embedded above, here's a downloadable MP4.)

Today's episode of Boing Boing tv is an OFFWORLD feature -- this time, Joel and Rob visit the annual chiptunes music gathering Blip Festival 2008, better known as "blipfest."

Joel interviews several artists in this episode who create music inspired by the aural texture of old-schoold video games: Mr. Spastic, Jellica, and Nullsleep.

Join the conversation about this episode over on Offworld.

Previously: Blipfest 2008: Joel interviews chiptunes artist Bubblyfish.

(Special props to Beschizza for doubling as director of photography for these episodes! Holy Brother of Mario, what can't that guy do. Seriously. )

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BBtv: Bubblyfish at Blip Festival 2008 with Joel Johnson

(Flash video embed above, downloadable MP4 link here)

Today on Boing Boing tv, the first in a series of gaming/gadget features with Joel Johnson from an annual celebration of 8-bit/videogame-inspired music. Joel says:

Last week found us at Blip Festival 2008, the megalocus of live chiptunes music, where Game Boys met Atari STs with Amiga visuals for four evenings of square wave fun.

We were out in Gowanus in Brooklyn at the event, at least until Rob and I got tired and had to go home and rest our widdle heads. But until then, we got to speak to several of the artists just after their sets, and the BBtv crew is taking our drunken, blurry footage and actually making something worth watching out of it.

First up: Haeyoung "Bubblyfish" Kim

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BBtv: Offworld Update with Brandon, Awesome Edition

Boing Boing Offworld editor Brandon says,

Clearly still struggling through Infinite-Jest-esque urges to purchase beauty-enhancing video phone masks and the anxiety of talking to yourself while staring into a tiny, lit, terrifying Hal 9000 eye-hole, I've made my official non-gnome deathknight debut on BBtv.

In it I recap what we've been doing on the site (most notably, the debut of Monster Mii), recommend Dr. Awesome, the first game that's felt to me like a proper 'iPhone game,' versus a game that's merely been made for the iPhone, and let you know what's happening on the site in the coming weeks.

Bonus points for recognizing any of the ephemera in the background, and, as usual, a direct download link so you can blow it up full screen and shoot suction darts at my scruffy mug.

Join the comments thread on this episode over at Offworld blog. Read the rest

Get a sneak peek at Metaplace MMO with Boing Boing Offworld

Raph Koster's Metaplace is offering the first 250 Offworld readers a chance to play around with the company's web-embeddable virtual meta-world.

Brandon has more:

Metaplace is also jumping ahead of the pack in modeling the software's Terms of Service around his 2000 manifesto “Declaring the Rights of Players", which gives creators "freedom of expression, ownership, including earning money & running their own world, privacy," and the ability to develop their own individual terms of service. Users, too, get "freedom of speech & assembly, privacy, rule of 'law' and due process," and full ownership of their own IP.

Bop over and get your invite key. You'll never guess what it is. (Translation: You probably will.)

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BBtv + Offworld: Status Report Edition, Brandon's Still a Death Gnome (video)

Over at, Brandon "Shiny-Eyed Death Gnome" Boyer says,

While we here at Offworld gather exclusive content for future editions of Offworld's BBtv transmissions, our second update is a status report, telling the wider world what we've been getting up to over the past week (including the rapid growth of our Boing Boing Steam group, as we all gather for Left 4 Dead extended plays), and a quick rundown of the new things coming to the site in the following weeks.

As usual, here's the direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable rather than the Flash.

Video duration: 3:14. Let Brandon know what you think of this week's video report from the slums of Azeroth here in the Offworld comments thread.

Previous BBtv/Offworld video updates: Offworld BBtv premiere: What's Offworld?

(Special Thanks to the PROJECT LORE düdes, namely SaintGermain. Big Orc-hugs, guys!) Read the rest

BBtv: Offworld Premiere. What's Offworld?

Here's the debut episode of our regular video updates from OFFWORLD, Boing Boing's new gaming blog. Editor Brandon Boyer says:

After an oxygen fire knocked our interstellar video link temporarily out of commission, we bring you our Boing Boing TV premiere via Azeroth, where my spiritual Death Knight equal gives you a little background on where we're is coming from and where I hope to steer the ship. As usual, here's the direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable rather than the Flash.

Offworld bonus fact: in real life, my eyes and sword glow a much more vivid shade of blue. That is indeed, though, almost exactly how I shake a tail feather.

Here's a direct MP4 link, if you prefer to download the video. Like this episode? Tell Brandon and the Offworld gang what you think over at the comments thread is here.

(SPECIAL THANKS to the Project Lore guys, who showed us around the 'hood -- namely, Charles Ottaway.) Read the rest