Questions about our Educational Games
What fields are your educational games for? What ages?
We want to create great games that are both fun and educational, so we don’t want to limit ourselves too much in other ways, like the topic of study, or the age of the players.
With that said, we see that there are already plenty of good choices for younger kids who are learning their letters, numbers, colors, and so forth. It’s much harder to come up with good educational games for older kids and adults, and there’s less good options for them, so that’s where we’d like to focus our creativity and energy.
Don’t kids already spend too much time on their phones? Won’t this give them an excuse to spend even more?
We believe that what matters is the content, not the technology. It’s true that people, both adults and children, enjoy being entertained with mindless content. However, people of all ages are also naturally curious and have fun when challenging and improving ourselves. We all like to think, to learn, and to gain useful skills and abilities. This is the kind of content and the aspects of human nature which we would like to appeal to.
What does Nuhubit mean?
Nuhubit is a local place name. Our company was founded in Santa Clarita, California. When we were choosing a name, one of the things we considered was a way to tie it to our community; since California has an interesting history, we found a lot to choose from. Nuhubit is the name of a Native American village identified near downtown Newhall on a 1937 map. You can read more about it in this blog entry.
Computer games encourage violence. Would you please not encourage violence in our children?
We certainly don’t want to encourage violence in children or anyone else. Our intention is to create healthy, non-violent games that are enjoyable to play, while giving our players valuable skills. Incidentally, while thinking about this question, we came across the excellent book Video Games and Violence by Andrea C. Nakaya. Although apparently intended for teenagers, we’d recommend it to anybody interested in the issue, because it contains reliable facts, convincing arguments from opposing perspectives, and a useful bibliography.
Have you released any games yet?
Yes. Bubbly Primes is a math game that gives practice factoring and learning prime numbers. Others are in various phases of development. Some have written-down designs, and others already have some code or artwork. Apple does provide a page which will stay up-to-date with all of our games as they are added. Our goal is to keep on making good games.
Will the other games also be for teaching math?
Some will help with math, like Bubbly Primes, but others will focus on other subjects. For us, the important thing is to succeed at the core idea of educational games – providing a fun way to learn something important. There’s educational software out there that’s helpful, but not really a fun game. There’s also games that provide only marginal educational value. We don’t see our goal so much as compromising to a particular point on that spectrum, as much as having insights and inspiration that allow us to make something that is really and truly a game, and provides excellent educational value. For an example, or if you’re not convinced that it can really be done, please do try out Bubbly Primes.
Will there be Android versions of your games?
We’d like to make Android versions, and perhaps versions for other platforms too, but for now, we don’t have the resources. Instead we’d prefer to spend our time making a greater variety of games. Hopefully, someday we’ll be able to expand to additional platforms.
In the meanwhile, something very interesting has happened. An Android game developer has licensed the design to one of our games. He created a version of the game, which he called Prime Escape, based on our design. At its essence his game is the same as ours. On the surface, however, it is very different. It might even feel like a completely different game to some players. The similarities and differences between the two games are really interesting.
I’ve always wanted to make games. Are you hiring?
We aren’t hiring right now, but please feel welcome to send us a resume, and we will keep it on file. We’ve heard from some fantastic and interesting people, who we wish we could hire. We hope that the day will soon come when we can work with talented people like you.
I read recently that it is counterproductive to encourage students to do math quickly, including learning basic arithmetic math facts.
We’ve read this too. For instance, there’s a good articulation of this philosophy at youcubed. There’s some well thought out and supported ideas in that article. It’s great to read about and think about new ideas and knowledge in the field of teaching, and maybe we’ll be able to invent some math games that emphasize depth over speed, as advocated there. There are also counterarguments, that speed (and more importantly, its natural consequence – internalization) are indeed of value to all students. However, whether or not speed and accuracy are important academic goals, they can make for exciting games. In other words, speed requirements might be present in a well balanced game, not for pedagogical reasons, but to make the game more fun!
I have a question that isn’t in this FAQ.
Please send us your question. We look forward to hearing from you.