Educational video games typically focus on teaching specific skills – such as reading or math – which they can do effectively. What’s missing is that these games often end up removing the parent from the learning process, which is detrimental to the development of the child’s social-emotional skills. These skills are important throughout life, and they rely on the foundational brain pathways formed during childhood. First Pathways: Go is a new approach to educational gaming. Within a cooperative role-playing mobile platform, the child – age 4 to 10 – and their parent must work together as superhero and sidekick to beat bad guys and solve problems around their community. By fostering teamwork between parent and child, First Pathways: Go promotes social-emotional brain development while they play.

Technology Description

First Pathways: Go uses GPS and vision processing technologies to create an augmented reality experience. These technologies create a more engaging experience to encourage parents and children to play in a developmentally-positive way. The ability to choose where the game is played encourages people to get out into their communities. As with other location-based games – such as Pokemon Go, which currently sustains about 65 Million Monthly users – when players are out on their adventures, they are much more likely to interact with others. Strangers become neighbors as they explore their locale.

Advantages

  • Focuses on education as well as entertainment
  • Fosters good parent-child interactions as a means of promoting healthy brain development
  • Strengthens brain pathways for social-emotional skills that will be important for high-functioning in personal interactions with others throughout life
  • Encourages children and parents to explore their neighborhoods and interact with neighbors

Applications

  • Home educational gaming
  • Classroom enrichment
  • Bridging the home-school gap

IP Status

Intellectual Property disclosure filed through the Innovation Institute.

Stage of Development

Prototype currently under development.