Articles Tagged with: games

Chinese New Year Arrives in Silk Road Match 3

Join your trusty camel Matthias on the Silk Road to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Dog in Silk Road Match 3 during our Chinese New Year event! Enjoy the same addicting match 3 gameplay with the addition of new backgrounds, a new festive look for boosters, and a new style for Matthias.

A Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese New Year Silk Road Match 3New, colorful app icon
Chinese New Year Silk Road Match 3

A hat for Matthias and a firecracker bomb booster

Chinese New Year Silk Road Match 3
Lanterns all over the map
Chinese New Year Silk Road Match 3
An event-exclusive splash screen

The special event features will launch in early February, before the Lunar New Year on February 16, and last through a date in March. Players can take that time to appreciate the many changes and additions that the event gives the original game. Keep a good eye on your app’s icon in the upcoming days. If you do, you’ll see it change when the Chinese New Year event goes live!

A Unique Match 3 Adventure

Now’s the best time to start your journey down the Silk Road. Grab your camel and travel the ancient trade route from Rome to China during the 1st century AC. As you trade coins and visit important cities, you will build your reputation as a master trader. As you travel the 6,000km Silk Road, you will experience the sunny Mediterranean, arid deserts, high mountains and the Asiatic Steppes.

Your trusty camel companion Matthias will guide you along the treacherous route through the Roman, Parthian, Kushan and Han Empires. Visit famous cities, interesting villages and trading posts full of exotic goods. Each empire has their own coins, so you must be certain to use the right ones. Otherwise, you’ll be chased out of town by the gate guards!

Match these ancient coins to unlock puzzles at each stop and build your reputation. Can you earn a high enough status to gain admittance to the next Empire? They won’t let in just anyone; only traders with excellent reputations are allowed to travel the whole route. However, with Matthias by your side, you will be able to realize your goal of becoming the most famous trader on the Silk Road!

Silk Road Match 3 Updates Coming Soon!

We are still bringing updates to Silk Road Match 3 with levels coming soon that will take players to the gates of the Han Empire. Collect brand new ingredients and challenge the guard that blocks your entrance into the last leg of the Silk Road.

Silk Road Match 3 Han Empire guard

Challenge the guard at the gates!

Silk Road Match 3 Han Empire ingredients

Try new ingredients like cinnamon and pomegranate

Silk Road Match 3 is available for Android and iOS devices and is also playable on Facebook. After the Chinese New Year concludes, players can still look forward to more special events coming this year! Make sure you also browse through our full game catalog.

Start Your Match 3 Journey Today!
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Uncovering Ancient Rome: Did You Know?

Ancient Rome has fascinated and intrigued people for centuries. It’s easy to understand why: tyrannical leaders, wars, gladiators, and the rise of a vast empire. Hollywood has helped to fuel this fascination with interpretations of stories and people from this time period. However, many times movies and TV shows stretch the truth a bit to make things even more interesting. Here are a few great facts you can bet on to be true:

An artifact featured in Excavate! RomeGladiator Recovery Shake

Gladiators might have had a special “recovery” drink. According to this article from NPR, the bones of gladiators were found to have a higher level of calcium. While the cause isn’t totally known, Pliny the Elder was quoted as writing, “Your hearth should be your medicine chest. Drink lye made from its ashes, and you will be cured. One can see how gladiators after a combat are helped by drinking this.” Many believe that the ashes of charred plants were mixed into a drink that helped to boost their calcium to build stronger bones.

An artifact used in Ancient RomeBaths Are for More than Bathing

The baths were for more than just bathing. Public bath houses were a large part of ancient Roman daily life. Romans would progress through a ritual of dipping in pools of differing temperatures. In place of soap, they (or their slaves) would rub oil on their bodies and scrape the dirt away with a tool called a strigil. Other than a way to get clean, the baths offered an opportunity for people to network with each other and relax. This article from LiveScience discusses some of the items found in the drains of Roman Baths. Jewelry, plates and cups, animal bones, and even scalpels have been recovered showing evidence of more than just bathing.

An example of a jug used in Ancient RomeSecond Floor with a View

Who doesn’t love a penthouse view? In modern apartment buildings, the higher the floor you live, the more expensive it becomes. The top floor is supposed to have the best view and the largest space. Take this idea and flip it around when it comes to Roman apartments. These buildings, called Insulae, were built quickly and cheaply to house the ever-growing population of Rome. Though most contained only five levels, some reached up to nine. The fear of collapse and fire was real since it happened often. The top floors were usually the most cramped and did not have running water!

An example of a birdcage from RomeFor the Birds

Wealthy Romans lived in individual houses called Domus. One interesting aspect of daily life of wealthy Romans was that they had pets! Dogs were very popular with Romans. The Greyhound and Maltese were two very popular breeds. Birds were also prized – many Romans domesticated nightingales, magpies, and ravens because they could be taught to speak.  However, many exotic species were imported such as peacocks and parrots and kept is beautifully decorated cages.

 

These facts can all be discovered in Dig-iT! Games’ new Excavate! Rome game, along with many more that reveal the complexities of Roman society. Players take on the role of archaeologist and choose which location to dig in (the Colosseum, Baths, Domus, or Insula). At each site, they will uncover and analyze precious artifacts that tell the interesting and intriguing story of ancient Rome. In addition, we have our Excavate! Card Game for ancient Rome that allows students to put their knowledge of ancient Rome to the test. What facts do your students love to learn about the Romans?

A promotional image for Excavate! Rome

 

 

 


2017 | A Year of Digital Learning

The 2017 Year in Review – Education Highlights

At this time of year, we reflect on the major events that have influenced our New Earth Planetlives and industry. Our news outlets will share their highlights of 2017 from weather to politics but there were also lesser known discoveries and events that should be remembered. NASA reported that there was a new planet that could support life and then there was the exciting finding of a new chamber inside the pyramids of Giza for example. There were also significant developments in the intersecting worlds of technology and education.

E-Learning Recap 2017

  • The hottest development was the expansion of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) apps for the education marketplace. Students were transported to other worlds or dropped into the human body to explore its complex systems. There was also an increase in capacity for students to create in the AR and VR spaces with sites like Co.Spaces. Check out these 20 VR apps that had a big impact in 2017.

Virtual Reality in Education Games

  • Chromebook is now King and Queen! Cheap hardware with a suite of online, collaborative digital tools attracted schools to adopt Google as the #1 supplier of educational technology in 2017. This was not without critics who point to the fact that students are being shepherded into becoming lifelong Google customers as they transfer their school accounts to private ones upon graduation. Read More: “How Google Took Over the Classroom.”

Educational Games and chromebooks

  • Siri, Alexa and “Ok Google” have become common ways of interacting with technology and much of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that makes these on-command applications work also has the potential to improve teaching and learning. Follow this link to read about 5 examples of how AI is being used in grading and tutoring applications to free up valuable time for teachers and improve the speed of services for students. We are incorporating AI into our new educational applications platform.

blockchain education technology

  • Blockchain (n0t to be confused with Bitcoins) made waves in 2017 with its use in the financial sector but it has great potential with credentialing and securing student records in academia. If you are not familiar with blockchain software, check out this great blog and video that IBM has created to explain it. While blockchain has not made its way into the K-12 classroom (yet), universities and online learning platforms are piloting its use and it has the potential to help bring digital badging and online diplomas to a universally recognized position in academia. Familiarize yourself with it now because it may have an impact on education very soon!

 

  • Dig-It Games made waves by building a revolutionary platform for data reporting from digital learning games. The platform is called Game-Based Learning Experience API or GBLxAPI for short. This National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project aims to build a reporting language for all video games to use to report student data as well as create a protocol for collecting and reading the data. It aims to streamline all data from various online-learning games and platforms so that schools and teachers can analyze data in a single dashboard owned by the school district (not the edtech companies). We made great progress this year and partnered with other game companies to implement it in 2018. Stay tuned!

Game-Based Learning

In 2017, many students had a lot of energy around getting a Nintendo switch and their parents expended a lot of energy expressing disappointment that Nintendo stopped selling the classic NES system. There was also major gaming news in the classroom. Kahoot released a great year-end review of the trends that they witnessed with their customers such as a surge of search requests for Math content, an increase in adoption of Google Chromebooks and a rise in the use of BYOD (bring your own devices) in many classes. Increases in BYOD is exciting news because it opens new venues of interactivity such as incorporating social media and virtual reality into the classroom. But an important aspect of bringing more hardware into the classroom is finding high quality games to play!

World History Game Excavate EgyptWe are proud to announce that Dig-iT! Games released 5 games in 2017 which will prove to be a valuable experience and resource for all World History classes. The Excavate! video game series extends our innovation approach to incorporating the STEM field of Archaeology into Social Studies and History courses by challenging students to dig up ancient artifacts and then analyze them for key concepts about ancient civilizations. We released Excavate! Mesopotamia, Excavate! Egypt, Excavate! Greece, Excavate! Rome, and Excavate! Mesoamerica. Each game is accompanied by high quality supporting curricular materials help facilitate each game’s use in the classroom. We also released ExoTrex 2 challenging students to search for a new planet like the one NASA found this year.

Exotrex 2 Science Education Game

Game-based learning and Gamification are both listed as trends in education for 2017 and beyond.  We are proud to be a part of this exciting development by offering a high quality and engaging game series. Contact us today to review any of our newest games!

Have a great 2018!


Summer Gaming List

Could you save the world this summer?  Discover a new civilization? Or even explore the universe first hand?

We know you can!

Summer is here and it is time to keep the learning going! Summer reading lists are being circulated now with carefully chosen books to support reading gains over the concluding school year and a stepping stone for opening discussions at the beginning of school in the fall.  There can be a significant amount of down time in the summer for children which is the main reason why summer reading lists have become a part of our summers today.  We encourage students to read all summer long but also, don’t neglect to curate your own summer gaming list too!

Picture this: A child seated by himself reading a book under a tree’s shade on a hot summer day.  A hundred feet away, under the shade of another tree, is another child seated by herself playing a video game on a tablet.  In Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson argues that there is an inherent bias in promoting the reader’s activity as enrichment while deriding the gamer’s activity as wasting time.

They are both seated by themselves engrossed in other worlds.  But one is more acceptable than the other.  Johnson argues that we need to be open to changing the bias against video games.

A good reader will be actively reading by predicting what comes next, recognizing foreshadowing, but they will always be responding to a fixed narrative.  Whereas the video game player is making decisions that impact the outcome of the game, accomplishing short term and long term goals, and depending on the game, may very well be interacting with other players in creating and reimagining the world in which they inhabit.  Johnson argues that this may potentially be more intellectually rigorous…but it all depends on the content and the structure of the game.

This summer, read through that reading list, enjoy those summer evenings of staying up late and reading by flashlight and exploring new worlds.  We also encourage you to grab a video game that is educational and enriching and one that will engage your mind on multiple levels.  Who knows you very well may discover a new home for humanity, discover a new civilization or explore planets you never knew existed!

We here at Dig-It Games are proud of our library of educational games that we encourage you to add some or our games to your summer gaming list! Looking for more games?  Check out the library of games hosted by Games for Change.

Finally, if you are looking for another book to add to your reading this summer, why not pick up Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us SmarterWe bet it will start some interesting conversations as well!


The Women of Dig-It! Games

March is Women’s History Month – it gives everyone a chance to step back and take a look at how far women’s rights have come and how far we have to go. This is a reason to celebrate the accomplishments of women who have persevered and aspired to do great things. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women only make up 25% of all computing jobs. We want to inspire more women in tech so we are featuring the Women of Dig-It! Games in our blogs this month!

Elisa:

I started at Dig-It! Games in November 2016 so I’m still new. I have spent the last eight years teaching high school Spanish and decided to switch fields when I moved to Washington, DC. The switch to technology wasn’t incredibly difficult for me as I grew up around computers and was a Technology Integrator at my last school. My parents were both in the technology field and so my sisters and I never saw it as a strange world. I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment that encouraged me to do whatever I needed to reach my goals. As a teacher, I loved speaking with teenage girls about their futures and encouraging them no matter what the role.

Here at Dig-It!, my main focus of work is the educational content of many of the games, but I’m currently working on the Excavate! series. I also am involved in outreach and I love being able to still work with teachers and students. We recently hosted GRRL Tech – an after-school club for middle school girls interested in technology.

 

Ashley:

For as long as I can remember, being an artist has been the only thing I’ve wanted to do. I’ve never really changed career paths or aims—
being an artist has always been part of me, which is interesting since no one else in my family was ever interested in such a thing. Painting has always provided an escape, which is the big hook that always kept me coming back. I could create places, creatures and characters that people normally could only dream of, and video games similarly stimulated my imagination. I grew up on The Legend of Zelda series which introduced me to the fantasy genre (Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft, and others), and I liked it so much that it has guided my art in that direction my whole life. Painting for me is all about creating interesting worlds, which would make working on video games a perfect fit, and so I committed to finding any possible way to do it full time.

Here at Dig-It!, I get to do it as my job! I have worked on almost all of the games, but the image to the right is from our newest Excavate! game.

If there’s something you want to spend your life doing, work at it until you think you can’t any longer, and then work some more. Commit to this, and the world is yours.

 

Sara:

Growing up I was always pushed towards the math and sciences because I naturally good at them, but my heart always called to more creative pursuits. My mother gave me the wise advice that “If you do what you love for work, it’ll become your work and not what you love.” With that in mind I applied to engineering programs across the east coast, before coming across a school that featured a Game Design and Development major. Although heavily computer science based, the major also taught design, animation, 3D modeling, audio, and narration to name a few. I knew instantly that it was a perfect match: a field both technical and creative.

College was some of the best years of my life! Starting my freshman year, my major was 11% female: 22 girls to 220 boys. I would never have more than 4 girls in a core class, and my major’s labs were often entirely male. It might seem intimidating, but it really wasn’t. Guys are just guys and I balanced them out by joining a sorority.
Since graduating from college, I’ve been working at Dig-It! Games creating science and history video games. Due to the small size of the company, I’ve been able to be involved in nearly every process: Development, Design, Research, Script Writing, QA, and Production. I recently wrote the scrip I would definitely encourage young women to pursue a career in the technology field. Obviously computer science is incredibly technical and difficult, but so is becoming a doctor or a lawyer; so is everything worth doing!

 

 

Stay tuned next week for more about the awesome women of Dig-It! Games!

 

 


Teacher Gift That Keeps On Giving

Time just escapes us when we are having fun making educational games for students around the world.  Where did the year 2016 go?  As we near the end of the year the month of December is one of giving and sharing.  We have shared a lot with the education community and wanted to find a way to continue some of that sharing during the giving season.

Are you giving a gift to your child’s teacher this year?  What if you could give a gift to your child’s whole classroom and to a classroom of underserved students for the same price?  With our Get One Give One Program you can give two classroom’s worth of games for less than $25.  For a limited time, purchase 25 copies of Excavate!™, Excavate!™ Egypt, Loot Pursuit™ Maya, or Loot Pursuit™ Early America for a 67% discount off the individual price. You send the games to the teacher of your choice and we will donate a classroom’s worth of games to a teacher at an underserved school.  Just add the game of your choice to your cart, apply the discount code TEACHER2016 and send the license keys you receive to your teacher.  It’s the gift that truly keeps on giving and with your help we can eradicate summer learning loss.  Offer expires 12/31/2016.  For more information on our campaign to fight summer learning loss, visit our GOGO Learn page.

 

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ExoTrex Space Adventure Game

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship ….B.E.A.K.E.R…. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Many will remember this phrase from the introductory sequence of the Star Trek series but in this case our starship is not the Enterprise, but B.E.A.K.E.R, the ship introduced in our newest space adventure STEM game, ExoTrex™. ExoTrex™ takes place in the not-so distant future, where humanity has used up all Earth’s resources and must find a new place to live. Using an innovative new fuel cell called B.E.A.K.E.R (Basic Element Analysis Kinetic Energy Reactor), players must use their chemistry and critical thinking skills to explore deep space and investigate exoplanets to find a new home for the human race.

For many middle and high school students, chemistry, physics and planetary science studies might seem just as challenging as the Enterprise’s mission in Star Trek, but ExoTrex™ can help. ExoTrex™ was designed for students from 8th to 10th grades and uses fun puzzles and problem solving exercises to build critical thinking skills that promote college and career readiness across STEM content areas including: science, math, and science literacy. In an effort to reach underserved students, DIG-IT! Games® ensured the ExoTrex™ narrative and characters would also appeal to minority students who are severely underrepresented in STEM education and careers.

In the newly released Episode 1 of ExoTrex™, players prove their readiness for the mission by completing a series of training exercises that test their chemistry understanding, knowledge of space history and critical thinking skills. Players who make it through this rigorous mission training will take the B.E.A.K.E.R. ship on a variety of exploratory missions in space in future episodes.

 

Students who play ExoTrex™ will meet Dr. Gerald Burke, an African American character who is based on the grandfather of DIG-IT! Games Artist Mikel Wellington. As DIG-IT! Games’ CEO says, “Dr. Burke’s presence in the game elevates the product from a game about science to a game about successfully overcoming barriers and challenges. His story is inspirational and it’s our hope that including him in this game will serve to motivate students of color to enter STEM fields.”

To increase the reach and impact of ExoTrex™, DIG-IT! Games partnered with renowned Astrophysicist, Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi who, in addition to being a star on the popular TV show, Outrageous Acts of Science, is also the Chief Science Officer for both Discovery Communications and the Science Channel.

“The decision to partner with DIG-IT! Games was easy because we are both on a mission to use innovative ways to teach and to reach underserved kids.” Says Dr. Oluseyi, “The diversity in ExoTrex™ is especially important because it’s empowering to students to see and hear someone who looks like them and sounds like them doing science. Today you have to capture kids’ attention in seconds. The visuals in ExoTrex™ do that.”

 

The game’s three episodes will challenge students to not only learn to power the ion propulsion ship, but also to sample the planetary characteristics of known and unknown planets as they analyze, evaluate and make recommendations for an alternative to Earth. Students will love this immersive STEM experience while they have a hand in helping humanity in the not-too-distant future!

Learn more about the game and how to purchase it here. This game is part of our “Get One, Give One” campaign (#GOGOLEARN) where we give away one game for each game purchased. Learn more about our GoGoLearn campaign and our partnership with NSLA to fight summer learning loss through gaming here.

{more game images}

 


I Have A Word – America

Fourth-July-Water-Color_IHW

Free to play the week of the 4th of July – Just register at games.dig-itgames.com and it will automatically be in your library. For those who are already registered, just login and you will see it in your library.

Our most popular word puzzle game I Have A Word has been available on the Apple iTunes store since last year. To celebrate the 240th birthday of the United States we created a web version of this deductive thinking game with a 4th of July flavor. A great game to play with the family on a road trip or lying on a blanket waiting for the fireworks.


Dig-It! Games Celebrates 10 Days of Giving

Looking to keep children entertained during holiday travel? Or, do you have a new mobile device and are looking for games the whole family can enjoy?

Dig-It! Games is giving away free downloads of our award winning, educational games until the end of 2015!

Free Games For Holidays

Our games incorporate age-appropriate content in math, science, social studies and language arts into fun, interactive and engaging learning experiences for kids of all ages. The holidays are a great time for families to expand their vocabulary skills in I Have a Word or go head-to-head testing their math skills against the Maya number system in 3 Digits.

Visit the Dig-It Games page in the Apple App Store each day for a new free educational game, and follow us on Twitter to see that day’s give away.

Happy holidays from Dig-It! Games!