Video Games are bad for you? That’s what they said about Rock ‘N’ Roll.
– Shigeru Miyamoto
We created this game called DeathMath in 54-hours at Startup Weekend EDU. The title speaks for itself doesn’t it? If you were expecting some type of violent game with a splattering of math, you’ve come to the right place. This is a fighting game where you go one on one with another player and the only way to inflict damage is to answer the math questions quicker than your opponent, and correctly. Pretty simple, but oh so fun. We wanted the game to be engaging and entertaining for kids because all the other educational games weren’t, at least in our eyes. And if it helped strengthen ones mathematical chops by drilling them over and over again — all the better.
We had an awesome team that helped put this together, but the ones behind the magic were the designers and developers. Joe Shoop (Ubermind) designed the UX while Kyle Kesterson (Giant Thinkwell) busted out some amazing avatars. And the ones who brought it to life were game developer Jorden Andersen (Microsoft Xbox) and Scott Windsor (TeachStreet). It was amazing to see what I pitched on Friday night, alive and functioning only after a day and a half — they killed it!
DeathMath Final Pitch Presentation
Many of the judges, including Mitch Kapor, didn’t agree with the idea of motivating kids with competition/violence to play the game even though they were practicing math problems, but one judge did: Michael Arrington. He sometimes goes against the grain and we just wanted to say thank you for being such a badass. We’re working on improving DeathMath and having a native app on the iPad so you can show off how good you are in math by beating them up.
UPDATE: Kyle just made some awesome DeathMath trading cards.