In the spirit of James Paul Gee’s scholarship, the Gee! Learning Game Awards were created to recognize the best educational video games in the world. Judged by international leaders in the field, the awards ask the following questions of each submitted game: does it empower learners; does it create problems worth solving; does it create deep understanding; does it work smoothly; is it visually interesting; and is it original?
Along with receiving a GEE! Award Winner badge and having their game featured on the GEE! Awards website, winners were also given the opportunity to talk about their game during a dedicated hybrid session at the 2022 Play Make Learn Conference.
The winner of the Formal Learning category was Math Makers by Ululab. Players control wacky animals who make their way through physics-based puzzles, each of which contains a math lesson hidden in the gameplay. This award-winning app for ages 4-10 is designed to help kids learn math without feeling like they’re studying in school.
The Informal category winner was Lost Recipes by Schell Games. This relaxing cooking simulator allows players to prepare authentic food in three historic kitchens. Mastering traditional recipes, players will discover classic ingredients, tools, and techniques while indulging their appetite for the past!
In the category of Informal Youth, the winner was Bop or Pop! / ¡Bop, no pop! by Fred Rogers Productions. Here, players engage in a virtual game of keep the balloon up! This game models playful problem-based learning that can be practiced in real-life. Supporting both goal-directed play and free play, kids will find plenty of room for replay-ability, decision-making, and silliness. This game is also available in Spanish!
The winner of both the Amateur Created category and the People’s Choice Award was Microscopya by Beata Mierzwa. In this science-themed game, players will take a journey through the molecular world inside the cell. With hand-drawn illustrations and puzzles based on real life scientific concepts, this game from Beata Science Art aims to highlight the depth, complexity, and beauty of what makes life possible!
The second place People’s Choice Award winner was Zellige: The Tilemaker of Granada by Hoopoe Games. This is a relaxing and historical game, highlighting the artistic trends and cross-cultural art form of Islamic geometric mosaics. Players work as a tilemaker to redecorate an entire palace, designing mosaics using traditional patterns. With an explorable 3D environment, players will participate in a calming experience as they walk around and admire the palace, talk to its inhabitants, and let their creativity flow!
The Analog Games category winner was Décorum by Charlie Mackin. In this game, all players work to decorate their home in a way that makes everyone happy. However, each player has different things that make them happy. By changing the house and listening to the other players’ feedback, you can work towards a compromise that everyone will enjoy!
The judges who selected winners from this year’s incredible list of entries included Jenn Scianna (Field Day), Matheus Cezarotto (New Mexico State University), Monica Fan (Schell Games), Matt Harrison (University of Melbourne), Tammie Schrader (Whitworth University), Amy Patterson (Urban Arts), Jane Lee (iThrive Games), Valentin Briukhanov (CodeCombat), Julia Moreira (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Kellian Adams Pletcher (FableVision Studios), Spencer Striker (Northwestern University in Qatar), Yuchan Gao (Arizona State University), Mark Chen (University of Washington Bothell), Adeeb Syed (Springboard), Peter McDonald (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Sarah Larson (University of Wisconsin–Madison), and Max Shafer-Landau (University of Wisconsin–Madison). David Gagnon (Field Day) and David McHugh (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) co-chaired the awards.
To learn more about the 2022 GEE! Learning Game Awards, the judges, and to view all 18 finalists, visit the GEE! Awards website!
You can find information about the 2021 GEE! Learning Game Awards winners and finalists, including The Nomads by Jiaqi Yu, Radio General by Foolish Mortals, Operation Investigation by Hero Elementary, and Mars Horizon by The Irregular Corporation, in this blog from PLACE.