By the time the EVOKE adventure ended 19,324 people from over 150 countries registered to play, far exceeding expectations. Players submitted over 23,500 blog posts (about 335 each day), 4,700 photos and over 1,500 videos. The site received over 178,000 unique visitors and 2,345,000 page views with time per visit averaging over eight minutes. For the month of March EVOKE generated just under 10% of what the World Bank’s entire external website generated with regard to page views (1.1 million versus 12.1 million). Phenomenal numbers. Below is our original pyramid of participation and our actual numbers for EVOKE. Across the board EVOKE exceeded our expectations.
As a follow up to my last post on educational games, I wanted to provide an update on EVOKE – nearly two weeks into the game. For those of you who missed my last post, Evoke is a social networking game that is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere. The "text book" for this course is an online graphic novel. Set in the year 2020, the graphic novel follows the efforts of a mysterious network of Africa’s best problem-solvers. Each week, as players unravel the mystery of the Evoke network, they will form their own innovation networks: brainstorming creative solutions to real-world development challenges, learning more about what it takes to be a successful social innovator, and finding ways to make a difference in the world.
In 10 Global Trends in ICT and Education, I included gaming as a trend to keep an eye on. The gaming industry has been growing faster than the movie industry in the past number of years and is occupying an increasing number of hours of time in a young person’s day. Educational games it can be argued have the potential to reach students outside of the classroom where some traditional educational methodologies are failing. This genre of “serious games” has indeed mushroomed over the past number of years. A number of “serious games” have been developed in the fields of education, business, health, politics, engineering, defense, etc. In order to better understand the impact and potential of such games, we decided to develop and evaluate an educational game focused on youth social innovation and development – Evoke: a crash course in changing the world.