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2_9_ScanMag_75_April_2015_Text_Q9_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 07/04/2015 21:41 Page 63

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Gaming - Norway

Learning by doing – and gaming It was in front of the blackboard that Jean-Baptiste Huynh began the development of what would essentially become his professional pursuit: bringing gaming into the world of education. With a background in stock broking, numbers had always come easy for the maths teacher who quickly learnt that his students needed more than books to solve algebra problems. Enter WeWantToKnow – the forward-thinking software company for educational games. By Julie Lindén | Photos: WeWantToKnow

“Learning maths is not about reading – it’s practical, a learning process that adheres to the ‘learning by doing’ concept more than any other subject,” says the enthusiastic CEO. “My idea combines learning and gaming to create a new approach where children are able to learn maths naturally and while having fun. Essentially, it’s about de-constructing the maths and re-building it on a new platform, taking away elements that may disturb the learning process.” The first game, DragonBox Algebra 5+, came out shortly after the company saw the light of day, to great praise from researchers, media and educators worldwide. “You can say that it’s a game that ‘secretly teaches’ algebra, as it does not include any words – it wholly and fully

works as a game, requiring the player’s full engagement and attention,” says Huynh. “It motivates children by seeing maths from their perspective.” The game has been downloaded an astounding 350,000 times – beating games like Angry Birds on the Norwegian App Store rankings. Follow-ups DragonBox Algebra 12+ and DragonBox Elements have further established the company’s status in the gaming and educational sphere. WeWantToKnow is currently developing DragonBox Numbers – a game designed to interactively teach basic maths taught in the first and second grades of primary school. Asked about his response to the global acclaim the games have received, Huynh remains characteristically enthusiastic

but humble: “For me, the most important thing is to keep developing games to help children learn in a better, more fun and efficient way. If we’ve achieved that, nothing could make me happier.” There is little reason to question Huynh and the team behind WeWantToKnow in their pursuit. The long-term results of their pedagogic and engaging games are remarkable, especially when seen in the light of their online presence. Having rounded up more than 40,000 children around the world for one of their many egaming events, it is clear that there is a great demand for WeWantToKnow’s games – amongst students and educators. “It’s a whole new industry opening up before our eyes,” says Huyhn. “Teachers are open and eager to incorporate games into the classrooms – nothing could be better.”

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Issue 75 | April 2015 | 63

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine | Issue 75 | April 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with moviemaking legend Lasse Hallström.

Scan Magazine | Issue 75 | April 2015  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with moviemaking legend Lasse Hallström.