Video Game Tournament Tests Middle Schoolers' Math Skills

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Pac Man's okay, but can he solve for "x?" Riverwatch Middle School (Suwanee, GA) eighth grader John Pickering won the June 26 National Multiplayer Educational Game Tournament, the first competition of its kind, which was held at the 2007 National Educational Computer Conference in Atlanta. The inaugural tournament used three-dimensional video games to test the algebra skills of middle schoolers from across the country.

The final round was a competition between 12 students who won the spring semi finals at schools or learning centers. The gaming technology used was Tabula Digita's (New York) DimensionM offering, which embeds pre-algebra and algebra into three-dimensional video game with a story line. Students navigate a series of missions while leaning concepts such as prime numbers and graphing linear equations.

The game, which is aligned to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards, is geared to get students to "have so much fun with the games that they forget that they're learning," said Ntiedo Etuk, CEO and co-founder of Tabula Digita, in a prepared statement.

One thing is certain: Pickering is certainly adding up his winnings. The triumphant middle schooler carried home an Apple Macbook, a video iPod, a $25 iTunes gift card and 600 minutes of free tutoring from on-demand homework help provider Tutor.com.

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About the author: David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and editor, and can be reached at david@prooferati.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at david@dkcopy.com.

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