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February 2014

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Dr. William Wood Aids Development of Educational Computer Game

Logo Gen i Revolution

JMU Economics Professor William Wood always wanted to be a computer game developer, back in the days when Space Invaders was state of the art. He never realized that dream, but thanks to a project with the Council for Economic Education, he did get to become a computer game developer of sorts.

These educational interactive games, Gen i: Murktide Invasion and Gen i: Beyond the Mission, challenge players to test their investing and finance knowledge during missions that are designed for students in grades nine through twelve.

"I was on a three-person team that planned and implemented the economic content of Gen i Revolution," Wood said. "The back-and-forth with the programmers and artists was great."



Interactive and engaging, these games make it possible for students to learn about finance in a fun and memorable way. Wood and his colleagues, Mark Schug of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Scott Niederjohn of Lakeland College, came up with content to fit the educational game's theme: that students were to become secret agents reporting to spymaster Monique.

"For each mission, Monique would have the story of a household struggling hard to save and invest. Students received points for leading the household to good financial solutions," Wood said.

New versions of the game for tablet computers, integrated with social media, have just been released by the Council for Economic Education in collaboration with H&R Block Dollars & Sense.