Namco Bandai Working on RPG Textbooks for Schools

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Andriasang (via Joystiq) reports that Japanese video game company Namco Bandai is working with textbook publishing company Gakko Tosho to bring RPG elements and narrative story to school books.

Math textbooks are among the initial plan, with each volume containing "a problem corner titled 'Math Adventure.' Students follow an RPG-like storyline as they solve problems. Get the correct answer, and you earn keys. Collect all the keys, and you earn a treasure of some form. This 'game' has clearly defined characters -- for example, Yuto, who was born on July 25, is full of energy but is bad at math."

Additional textbooks for science and language arts are also being produced with the goal of introducing them in classrooms by next spring.

As far as energizing students, it's certainly a better idea than translating Shakespeare into text message slang.

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From The Chatty
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    May 24, 2010 12:33 PM

    Truly the definition of higher education. I look forward to children leveling up their learning capabilities.

    Sarcasm aside, I'm sure will think the concept a bit much, but I think it's a great idea. As fun as learning is, it's often presented in too dry a fashion to engage many children (this was my problem throughout school). Presenting classroom activities and homework assignments as a story with characters and actual plot may accomplish two goals: it will engage kids in reading, since they'll want to progress through the story to find out what happens; and they'll be more interested in assignments because they won't be nothing more than arbitrary assignments presented as work, work, work.

    • reply
      May 24, 2010 12:33 PM

      * "I'm sure will think" = "I'm sure some will think"

    • reply
      May 24, 2010 12:53 PM

      I think it's a great idea as well. I was not a dumb kid.. but I had a lot of trouble keeping myself interested in school... something like this might have worked on me. Just the way my brain is wired I learn better by doing things and working on things.. I need a goal.. a destination something to work towards. I was very resistant to school work.. just for the sake of school work. This was not a choice.. this is just how I am. If school work could have been organized in such a way that it had some kind of natural progression which I could clearly see... I think I would have enjoyed that. I think one of the keys here is appreciating that not all kids learn the same way. I think something along these lines together what already exists could give kids some options.

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      May 24, 2010 3:03 PM

      I'm glad they're tackling math textbooks first. The textbooks always put me to sleep and I couldn't stay focused because it was so bland. I still did well, and got A's and B's through calculus, but even then, most of my learning came from good professors, and working out the problems in a math center with frequent help. The books acted as more of an inhibitor than an initiator or catalyst for moving forward.