Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy (iOS and Android) is the newest tablet game from GlassLab, a project of the Institute Of Play, a leader in game based learning. Jordan Shapiro writes: “The first human settlement on Mars has a lot of decisions to make. There’s a lot to figure out when it comes to planning for a 21st Century civilization. The game works kind of like Pokemon. Players construct arguments; then they equip their robot assistants with claims and evidence for battles of the wits. The robots duke it out, and the one with the stronger argument wins”.

Personally, I’m a bit disappointed with this approach to edutainment (could we call it Pokemonization?). As a game scholar, I see a good learning potential in some areas, but maybe designers and investors should accept that some others, such as rhetorics, composition and argumentation, may require a human interaction and not procedural contents. This is not to slam procedural literacy, but maybe we should see both its benefits and its shortcomings

Read Jordan Shapiro’s article at: