If the robotics club and the debate team were to sit together at the same lunch table, this is the fantastic game they would create. Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy is a brilliant example of how games can help kids develop core skills that apply across academic subjects. —TechWithKids.com
Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy was created by Erin Hoffman-John and the GlassLab team in 2014. A game deployed via the GlassLab platform and the Apple Store for iPads, Mars Generation One was designed in collaboration with NASA and the National Writing Project to teach argumentation in a society set on Mars. In addition to receiving widespread acclaim from educators, education journalists, and kids, Mars Generation One is frequently cited on lists of best educational games for ELA and averages 4 and 5 star reviews on Common Sense Media and the app store.
I like Argubot Academy. In particular I like that it blends disciplines. I like the focus on ethical decision making. And I love that the emphasis in the game is on using skills to help people live together in better ways. So often we forget that the purpose of education is not only to make workers who contribute to the economy, but also, to make citizens that contribute to making a better civilization. –Jordan Shapiro, Forbes
Although Mars Generation One was created at GlassLab, we include it here as a case study because of the significant research performed on its efficacy. The design methodology used to create Mars Generation One is the same one that we employ at Sense of Wonder, executed by many of the same people. In a perfect world we would have the resources to work, as GlassLab did, in tandem with rigorous assessment partners to validate the efficacy of our games — this is the kind of work we want most to be doing.
Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy is a slick, clever role-playing game that follows new cadet Zodiac Flynn through the first days of this earthling’s life in a colony on Mars. Zodiac is the first native Earthling to join the Argubot Academy, a training facility otherwise populated by people born in the Mars colony of Bracket City. Zodiac’s task is to learn the art of using argubots, the special robots that can be armed with argument cores and then engage in argument duels. Zodiac’s task is to use argubots to explore a series of missions that grapple with key issues facing the Martian colonists. —Common Sense Education
In including Mars Generation One among our case study material we also hope to keep the science done on the GlassLab games alive; the significant advancements in the creation of learning games that took place at the lab is news that we hope to spread around the world. Below you will find samples from the research carried out by GlassLab and ETS on the game’s efficacy. We are very proud to have been a part of this groundbreaking work.