Saturday, August 14, 2010

Serious Games For Online Language-Learning


Serious Games challenging us to play a better education


Via: Gamasutra - Middlebury Enlists Muzzy Lane for Online Language-Learning RPG

Serious Games to immerse players in environments unique to each language's specific culture

Middlebury Interactive Languages, a leading figure in foreign language instruction for children and young adults, has reached an agreement with Making History series creator Muzzy Lane Software to produce an online language-learning role-playing game.

The upcoming game, aimed at high school students, will supplement Middlebury's full-immersion online foreign language courses. The company operates the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, a four-week language learning program that will reach over 800 students this summer.


Muzzy Lane's game will be a first-person online RPG that immerses players in environments unique to each language's specific culture. Students will interact with other players and with computer-controlled characters that are voiced by native speakers.
 
"We are excited to be partnering with Muzzy Lane to develop a full immersion language game as a part of our new Middlebury Interactive product," said Dave Benoit, chief executive officer of Middlebury Interactive Languages. "Foreign languages are critical to the skill set of today’s young people and the combination of Middlebury's academic expertise and Muzzy Lane's gaming technology will prove to be a strong combination."
 
"We are thrilled to be developing the game worlds for Middlebury Interactive Language," said Dave McCool, president of Muzzy Lane. "We have seen how online, multiplayer games create deeply engaging and immersive environments. Our structured, virtual world platform provides a great medium to extend Middlebury's proven immersive foreign language programs to the online world."
 
The initial versions of Muzzy Lane Software's game will focus on Spanish and French upon the project's launch later this year.
 
About Middlebury Interactive Languages
 
With the world growing more connected every day, the need to communicate effectively in a foreign language is clear. Despite that, only 18% of Americans speak a second language, compared to more than 50% in the European Union.
 
Middlebury Interactive Languages, LLC, is an online language learning company that combines the rich history of Middlebury College’s language programs with K¹²’s patented and ground-breaking methodologies for creating effective online courses.
 
For nearly 100 years, Middlebury College’s language programs have been immersing students in language, helping them make huge leaps in ability, confidence and cultural understanding. K¹² is the leader in online learning for grades K-12, with over 2 million courses delivered to date, a patented method for online learning, and a 95% satisfaction rating from parents. Middlebury’s pioneering approach in language learning combined with K¹²’s unique knowledge of creating dynamic, effective online courses will create market-changing, 21st Century online language learning options for students in grades K-12.
 
For more information, visit http://www.middleburyinteractivelanguages.com/
 
About Muzzy Lane Software
 
Muzzy Lane Software is an innovative developer of 3D single and multiplayer games. Based in Newburyport, Mass, the company creates its own branded games and works with partners to produce private-label games based on the company’s Sandstone platform. Sandstone delivers true 3D games in the browser, as a web service, with tight integration between the games and the web. Muzzy Lane provides simple web tools that support the customization of Sandstone games.
 
For more information, visit http://www.muzzylane.com./