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Filament Games

Filament Games is a Madison, Wisconsin based educational video game developer founded in 2005 by partners Daniel White, Daniel Norton, and Alexander Stone. The company is most well known for their series of civics games launched by Sandra Day O'Connor. These games include Do I Have a Right?, Executive Command, and more recently, Liberty Belle's Immigration Nation. Another of their games, Operation Resilient Planet, was developed for the JASON Project at National Geographic. Filament is closely connected with the Games Learning and Society Conference, and scholars Kurt Squire and James Paul Gee. Studio History- Filament Games is a game production studio that exclusively creates learning games. Our core competency is producing games that combine best practices in commercial game development with key concepts from the learning sciences. Accordingly, our senior staff is comprised of individuals who are equal parts game and instructional designers; a "dual literacy" that allows us to engineer authentic gameplay mechanics (rules and interactions that directly correlate with specific learning objectives). Filament Games was founded in 2005 by education technology expert Dan White, game designer Dan Norton, and software engineer Alex Stone. In the time since, Filament has developed over 40 educational games for clients ranging from National Geographic’s JASON Science to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics Inc. Methodology- Filament's top notch development team represents expertise in game design, programming, art, sound, quality assurance, and the learning sciences. The titles in our portfolio - including both 3D Torque games and 2D Flash games - cover a diversity of STEM, literacy, and civics education topics. Every game we make is subject to an extremely high standard of quality, extending to often neglected areas like accessibility, usability, efficacy, and visual/auditory fidelity. Our development process transforms target learning objectives into custom gameplay mechanics, and prioritizes four key design elements: identity, reward, clarity, and empowerment. Philosophy- We have been iterating on our core design/pedagogic philosophies since day one, but the tenets below represent a few central themes that have persisted across the years: Learning is naturally pleasurable. There is no reason to awkwardly sandwich learning content between mechanics that are designed solely to be "fun" or are otherwise divorced from learning objectives. Good games embrace experimentation and, by extension, failure. They prioritize inquiry over right versus wrong. Rather than focus on content, good learning games focus on building problem spaces in which content has authentic utility. Games are not a good fit for all learning goals. Good games leverage the affordances of digital interactions (e.g. teaching tacit knowledge) and avoid the weaknesses (e.g. natural language processing). All games are learning games…most just don't teach anything of value in the real world. Technology- After years of working in Flash, Filament has developed a powerful Flash game development framework called the Flare GDK. Leveraging Flare allows us to develop high quality Flash games extremely efficiently and effectively.