Go Go Games

Empire State of Mind: Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2013, NYC

Interaction Design for Children Conference

We’re psyched to be in NYC for the 12th annual International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’13) along with fellow researchers, designers and educators who are focused on creating innovative, interactive experiences for kids. We are especially excited that our paper Go Go Games: Therapeutic Video Games for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders has been accepted for publication. For details, see the abstract below or download the full-length version here.

    In this paper we describe the design of a therapeutic video game suite for early elementary children with autism spectrum disorders. By creating games that are both fun and faithful to evidence-based therapies, we highlight the promise of games as a mechanism to reduce the gap between the amount of therapy recommended for those with ASD and the amount they receive. We discuss our work to ground our games in Pivotal Response Treatment, a technique known to be an effective mechanism for educating children with ASD, as well as our technique for mapping several elements of PRT into our underlying game algorithm. We outline planned future work to test the games’ efficacy as a therapeutic tool.

Please come check out our poster demo showcase if you’re attending the conference!

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Parents’ Choice *Gold* Award Winner!

Parents’ Choice Foundation just announced the winners of its 2013 Spring Mobile App Awards. Much to our delight, Go Go Games received a Parents’ Choice Gold Award — the top honor! Truthfully, we are beyond elated. A distinguished Gold Award represents “the highest production standards, universal human values and a unique, individual quality that pushes the product a notch above others.” This is a huge accolade and it’s especially meaningful to be recognized alongside mega brands like Toca Boca and Duck Duck Moose! Thank you, Parents’ Choice, for recommending the very best children’s media and toys on the market.

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“I Want to Say” Documentary Short Debuts on YouTube

Last May, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Bodega and Autism Speaks produced an incredibly powerful documentary short, “I Want To Say,” which premiered in San Francisco to a limited audience. Today, the film debuted on YouTube for all to see. We couldn’t be happier to share how technology is unlocking the latent learning potential of some autistic children with tools that enable them to communicate and thrive. While this isn’t every family’s story, witnessing the way technology changes their lives truly gives us inspiration for our work and we are very proud to be a part of this important movement.

We invite you to watch the full-length (27:11) documentary. It’s a bit of a tearjerker so make sure you have a tissue nearby!

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Go Go Games featured in Common Sense Media’s “Power Up!” Guide to Special Needs Apps

Parents often ask us for our app recommendations for kids with autism and special needs. We understand how frustrating and overwhelming it can be to determine which apps in the iTunes Store are well-designed and useful or a complete waste of time and money. How do you know if they’re ACTUALLY educational? That’s why we typically point folks to Common Sense Media for ratings and reviews by real learning experts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Go Go Games Studios Wins the Shobe Prize for Entrepreneurs

Shobe Prize for Entrepreneurs

We’re absolutely thrilled that Go Go Games Studios has been selected as the winner of the 3rd Annual Design Competition for the Shobe Prize for Entrepreneurs, a prestigious award sponsored by the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. We are grateful for the support and encouragement to further our work and we are looking forward to fulfilling our ambitious product vision. Thank you – we are honored by this fantastic recognition!

For the official announcement, read here.

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The iPad: A Game Changer!

Brandon (7-year old with ASD) plays Go Go Games in his home in Northern California

As learning scientists and game designers, we embrace the power of educational technology. The Huffington Post recently published an article in which Howard Shane, Ph.D., professor of speech-language pathology and director of the Autism Language Program at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, explains how the iPad is an essential tool for working with children on the autism spectrum: “The iPad gives them more opportunities to be better communicators, to be better learners… The iPad is clearly the next step. It’s a game changer.” We couldn’t agree more.

Early on, we selected the iPad as a platform for our “digital behavioral therapy” (a term that LearningWorks for Kids aptly coined just for us) – not because it was the coolest, shiny new gadget, but because it is uniquely suited for the job: Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Year in Review

2012 kept us ridiculously busy — but in a very good way. We’ve certainly had an exciting and eventful year! Our team spent over six months working with therapists, game designers, educators, and young learners to research, design, and develop our inaugural iPad app. After putting on all of the finishing touches, we were ready to release Go Go Games™ on iTunes in October. Since then, we’ve been overjoyed by the positive reviews we’ve received from around the world!

Ahem… hope you don’t mind if we toot our horn a little bit!

Here are a few major highlights: Read the rest of this entry »

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