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ELA Serious Game Inklings Earns Gold Metal @ 2014 Serious Play Awards

The Serious Games Association announced the winners of the 2014 International Serious Play Awards, which recognize exceptional titles for game-based learning or training in business, education and healthcare.

Schell Games earned one of the first place Gold medals for Inklings, an ELA game they developed for Amplify.

The other Gold first place titles were:
Planet Jockey, Planet Jockey (Business)
Gate, Learning Games Lab, New Mexico State University (Education)
Change Talk: Childhood Obesity, Kognito (Healthcare)

Inklings: Underground is an action game, for iOS and Android, in which players advance by digging through a series of caves, purifying “corrupt” soil by learning and using morphemes to fix broken words and sentences.

The purpose of Inklings is to teach middle school children in grades 6 through 8 the basics of morphology. Essentially, the game educates students on prefixes and suffixes in relation to root words.

In the game, the player must help Blott, the Inkling. Inklings are inky, resourceful mole-like creatures that live below the ground in the literary world. Blott must work tirelessly to revitalize and maintain the dense and perilous Verbose Underground. The object of the game is to guide Blott to caverns to collect crystals and unlock the level; however, the paths to the caverns are often blocked. Blott must repair corrupted words or sentences to unblock the paths to the caverns in order to reach the crystals and unlock the level.

The first 4 levels of the game are tutorial in nature. As players progress through the levels, they are introduced to more sophisticated gameplay and a higher degree of difficulty in word pairings.

The assessment element of the game is rather sophisticated, accurately tracking/measuring three game dimensions: level completion, degree of “energy” sustained at level completion (meaning that player has made the best possible choices among the available learning pathways) and word mastery.

As players can complete each level without achieving word mastery or sustaining the amount of energy, the combination of the three dimensions represents an ample amount of timely feedback.

Inklings allows students to recognize patterns and series in word parts, identifying improperly affixed pairings and nonsense words, and becoming increasingly familiar with common word parts in the English language. With these skills, students can further develop their ability to make inferences about unknown words based on their knowledge of the root, the affix and its context within a sentence.

About Amplify

Amplify is the education division of the media conglomerate News Corp.

Headquartered in New York City and with more than 1,000 employees across the country, Amplify is led by a team of digital education experts and has provided industry-leading instructional tools, data analytics and assessment solutions to the K-12 market for more than a decade as Wireless Generation.

As a major part of its effort to reinvent the elementary and secondary school curriculum, Amplify is producing an ambitious portfolio of Serious Games, including ones for English Language Arts and STEM. The games are being conceptualized and developed by leading independent game designers as well as veterans of top commercial game studios, like Schell Games.


2014 International Serious Play Awards Winners Full List (including Small Studio Awards)

2014 Gold Winners

Planet Jockey
Planet Jockey (Business, Professional)
Learning Games Lab, New Mexico State University (Education, Professional)
Schell Games and Amplify (Education, Professional)
Change Talk: Childhood Obesity
Kognito (Healthcare, Professional)
Play the Past
Minnesota Historical Society (Museum, Small Studio)
Slice Fractions
Ululab (Education, Small Studio)
World Agent BRAC
MiCMALi (Games for Good, Small Studio)
University of Southern California (Education, Student)
DigiPen Institute of Technology (Games for Good, Student)
University of Southern California (Games for Good, Student)

2014 Silver Winners

Field Level Risk Assessment
Serious Labs, Inc. (Business, Professional)
Crafty Cut
Preloaded and Amplify (Education, Professional)
Story Cards
Preloaded and Amplify (Education, Professional)
Nutrition GameScape
Toolwire (Education, Professional)
The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom
National Geographic Education and Muzzy Lane Software (Education, Small Studio)
Hungry Birds
Digital Glass (Museum, Small Studio)
DragonBox Elements
wewanttoknow (Education, Small Studio)
Marketing Mayhem
University of Roehampton Business School (Business, Small Studio)
Nurture Your Nature
Oregon Health & Science University (Healthcare, Student)
The World the Children Made
Miami University of Ohio (Games for Good, Student)
For the Records
DePaul University, CDM (Games for Good, Student)

2014 Bronze Winners

Lifting With Scissors
Serious Labs, Inc. (Business, Professional)
Lazy 8 Studios (Education, Professional)
Atlantis Remixed: The Mystery of Taiga River
E-Line Media (Education, Professional
Strange Loop Games and Amplify (Education, Small Studio)
Perfect Woman
Perfect Woman (Games for Good, Small Studio)
Global Treasure Apps / Garden Sanssouci
Frances O’Neill (Museum, Small Studio)
The Beer Cup: An AB InBev Challenge
Evviva Games (Business, Small Studio)
Alternative History
University of Southern California (Education, Student)
Far From Home
University of Abertay Dundee (Games for Good, Student)
University of Southern California (Games for Good, Student)