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Serious Games As A Playground For Learning Math

Via: Mathbreakers - A Playground For Mathematics Where Numbers Come To Life!

Imaginary Number Co. is a Mountain View startup for Educational Serious Games, looking to disrupt STEM education through a community-driven gaming platform. 

Their first title, Mathbreakers, is a highly interactive 3D action/puzzle game for elementary mathematics.  

The Sudo-Mathematician Charlie Van Norman, company Founder and CEO, is the mastermind behind Mathbreakers. According to his vision, this game is not just about one piece of mathematics. It’s an immersive experience where all of mathematics fits together.

The company’s ultimate goal is to create a platform where the player community can create custom game levels and user generated content. The game’s initial release targets middle-school level curriculum, and the platform and editor enable the community to build math games from basic counting to Calculus and beyond.

Mathbreakers uses a fully integrated gaming approach to teach math. Players must be able to apply their knowledge of arithmetic, fractions, factoring, exponents, multiples, negatives, and prime numbers to defeat enemies and overcome obstacles.

The first release of Mathbreakers will complement the standard math curriculum for grades 1-6, with each puzzle or game interaction corresponding to a math topic from the curriculum. The game can be played at home or at school and repeated play helps develop a strong intuitive understanding of mathematics from different angles.

Mathbreakers has been making waves in San Francisco Bay Area schools and children's tech programs where students have play-tested the game


In the world of Mathbreakers, enemies and obstacles are all made of numbers. In order to defeat them, you must find a way to zero-out your foes and barriers! The game transforms mathematical operations into fun spells and gadgets. You have a big toybox of powerful math tools to help you out. Need a 3 and 5 but all you have is 30? Time to bring out the Factor Hammer. Need a negative number? Go exploring and you may find a +/- Portal.

Students have to use a combination of math spells and tools to strategically overcome enemies and obstacles. This encourages them to look at math puzzles from all angles and find different ways to solve them.

Each game level/puzzle builds upon the foundations of mathematical principles learned in previous lessons. Even as students progress to more challenging levels, they still have to apply fundamental math skills along with their knowledge of tougher math subjects.