So, if this is an opportunity, what would be the first thing to do? The first would be to check I am right: that there is no hidden reserve of high quality, syllabus linked computer games out there. The second would be to ask “why”? Why are there no educational computer games? Providers must have considered this. Was it the cost? The technical delivery? Yet surely, to take one example, to have 480,000 fifteen year olds studying An Inspector Calls at any one time, is a potential market?
Obviously, to receive support and funding, while very welcome, is only to start a small seed that might ultimately bear fruit. But it will take time and money. A lot of money – especially if we want to come close to the scale and professionalism of the game companies. So the small beginning would be to ask for funds to research and write a “pitch”, a professionally produced and researched document, almost a business plan, outlining the need and suggesting the remedy, which could be taken to potential suppliers such as the BBC, Pearson, Longmans, Collins and other educational suppliers. Other organisations might help. BAFTA, for instance, runs courses for young game makers. Could they be enlisted? The prize money would be to hire technical support for writing the pitch; I would supply the educational data for free. Then to also, if possible, receive help from the Department of Education to open doors to such educational providers and examining bodies, would also be a huge advantage. There may be many other non-pecuniary advantages the profile of such a prize would give.
I am realistic. There is probably a very good reason why my school has no computer games on the shelf. But how wonderful it would be if, one day, a young child would run up to me and say” “Hi, sir. I really enjoyed the Grammar game last night!”?