USC research-based suite of Serious Games for education and social awareness
FutureBound (formerly known as Collegeology Games) is a research-based suite of Serious Games designed to introduce middle school and high school students to college application process and access to higher education.
FutureBound was founded at the University of Southern California (USC), through a partnership between the Pullias Center for Higher Education and the Game Innovation Lab.
Through their work at USC with students in a face-to-face mentoring program, they understood that many qualified students high school students, particularly in underserved areas, were not getting the kind of college counseling they needed. These were students who had done well in school, had met college requirements, but who lacked the support and knowledge to successfully complete the college preparation and application processes.
Tracy Fullerton, the director of the Game Innovation Lab, told The Journal, a publication dedicated to K-12 education technology: "Even those kids with good grades and ambitions to go to college didn't understand the strategy behind going to college"
After play-testing a prototype with over 300 high school students in Los Angeles, their intent to create one college access Serious Game evolved into the development of a suite of games.
FutureBound Games provide a safe environment to learn and experiment with higher education strategies and choices before it really counts. Available games are: Graduate Strike Force, Mission: Admission®, Application Crunch® and FutureBound.
FutureBound is an action adventure Educational Serious Game for iOS (iPod/iPhone) and PC download that allows middle school students to take their digital character on a journey from middle school to college. Along the way, they take steps to prepare the character for higher education by overcoming common obstacles and honing important skills in the process.
Players battle doubts with their ambitions, which are guised as super powers. Players must collect passion around the world to fuel their ambitions and help NPCs (non-player characters) along the way.
The creators hope that this suite of games will provide another layer of support for students, as well as some valuable insight into the realities of higher education.