By Yuefei Su, CEO of Amath
So what makes a game fun for players? Can we use the same trick on learning?
I hated math class when I was a kid, I hated it because it was boring, especially the homework and the workbooks. I was often forced to learn, doing questions on paper. I often ask, why can’t we make learning to be as fun as playing video games? To stimulates my interest in learning, my father tried to play games with me, explain math problems using examples, and reward me with candies and toys if I am doing a good job. It worked, these helped me learn, but my hatred for workbooks remain. I just find doing problems on papers are boring and painful. As a kid, it is hard to concentrate. For years I’ve been seeking a way that can make learning fun. Now days, there are many educational software on the market, with these apps, kids can do problems on a colorful pad instead of paper. But I feel it is not quite there yet. Kids get bored at these apps real quickly, as there isn’t much mechanic in rewarding for those apps. My goal is to make learning “addictive” just like games. So one day I had an idea of combining games and learning together. Many games have some boring and “painful” parts yet they are still addictive to may players. For example, a in a RPG game, killing monsters and leveling up and boring, but players are still willing to spend lots of time on it. Because it is rewarding. My idea is to replace the “questing and leveling” part with math problems and keep the rewarding parts of the game. For example, in Amath, doing math problems is inevitable, as it is our main purpose. But for each problem answered, we reward with a certain amount of gold, which can be used to exchange for outfits, pets, etc. There is also a ranking, creating competitions among friends. Kids are motivated in many different ways, some will do the problems for the pretty outfit, some are working hard to unlock the pets, or maybe the ambitious little one wants to be number 1 on the rank. I believe with Amath, more kids will fall in love with math and less will suffer like I did when I was a child.