News: Geneva, Judging, Diamonds, Zebra, Matter, and more!

Title

Hopefully, that was an interestingly obscure title. For sure, lots of interesting stuff has been going on.

Geneva

The Geneva School (in Florida) reached out to ask if I would be willing to donate something for their annual fundraiser. They seem like good folks, so I sent them a copy of The Puzzle of Life. The auction took place just about a month ago, on March 10th. The day after, I went to check out their online auction site, and found that The Puzzle of Life was *not* listed in the after-sale. Which means someone must have found it intriguing enough to purchase during the auction proper. :)

Judging

Judging for this year’s Serious Play Awards continues. Having reviewed my share of the analog entries, I’ve now begun working through the digital entries. They’re all over the map – wonderful, terrible, hopeful … everything. I’d say more, but that would disturb the anonymity of the process. Shhhh…

Diamonds

I was invited to be a judge for the regional qualifiers of the Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs. This is a national program with over $100K in prizes orchestrated by the University of Delaware. In essence, it is Shark Tank for high school students. So, I was a shark in the Social Benefit category. It was interesting. There was lots of creative kindness. All the ideas were full of heart. Many were short on facts. In the end, the judging came down to who had the best handle on the situation, and most knew what they were talking about.

Exploring Matter

In more core-type Mindful Mammoth news, I’ve taken several further steps on my quest to complete my first interactive e-book – Exploring Matter In Space. My editor finished reviewing the first draft (15K words) of the Teacher’s Guide for the book, and sent me a set of comments. This past week, I’ve addressed those comments by adding several additional atom-related classroom activities (4K new words), and removing words related to two now-deleted interactive features (sad realities of tight budgets in the field of educational publishing). While this continues to be a rocky process, it does yet continue, and I think the final published product will be a worthwhile book that is head-above-the-rest.

Zebra

In sad news, we have shelved Project Zebra. For now. This all started back in December with several meetings with a local entrepreneur. He was interested in using games to raise funds for transformative development technologies. These technologies are things that would, in developing areas, bring long-term and sustainable benefits all out of proportion to their initial cost. We talked over goals, I generated several broad-and-fuzzy concepts, and we then filtered them down to one core concept. I created a playable analog prototype for that concept, with the eventual goal of turning it into a working mobile/digital game. Sadly, this was a fraught process with a whole bunch of miscommunication on issues both small and severe, and we have decided to part ways. The core idea is solid (IMHO), and with some modest luck, I may someday be able to make it real. A short montage of the development process for Project Zebra ->

And more!

The next month will be full of a whole bunch of things:

  • The annual meeting of the AEOE, where I will run teach-the-teacher workshops on both Fire Tag and The Puzzle of Life
  • Taking steps towards porting Sprout to Android and iOS.
  • Various last-minute edits and improvements to the Exploring Matter e-book, and the accompanying Teacher’s Guide.

 

Thank you

In all this work, your financial and emotional support has been critically important. Invaluable even. Thank you. As a special thanks for those of you who supported us at the $10 / month level and above, we’re sending you a set of connected people from the playable analog prototype of Project Zebra. This is a game all about connections, and in the analog prototype, we used pushpins to represent people living on a foamboard world. When players created connections between people, we simply tied a ribbon onto each of the connected people. The color of the ribbon represents the type of connection: red for investment/health, yellow for commerce/trade, and white for war. For your safety, and for the comfort of the U.S. Postal Service, we’ve removed the sharp steel bit from the pushpins :)

Thank you,

Tim