Puzzle and programming game developer Zachtronics has made its entire library of games free to schools and non-profit educational institutions. The Zachademics program hopes to bring gaming to children as an educational experience and includes games like TIS-100 and Infinifactory.
In order to get access to the Zachtronics catalog as an educator, here's what you need to do. You'll need to send an email to Zachtronics with some important info in it. The email must include the following:
- Your name and title
- Your organization’s name, address, and tax ID number
- A link to something online that proves your affiliation with the organization
- Which games you want licenses for (see list below)
- How many computers the games will be installed on
- Where the computers are located (lab, classroom, student laptops, etc.)
- How many students will have access to the games
- How you plan to use the games (with curriculum, as a reward, after-school club, etc.)
There are also a couple of caveats here. Zachtronics says its games are T-rated by the ESRB, but that there still might be some objectionable content in them. In addition, if you're an educator, you should probably sit down with your class and introduce them to the games personally. Some of these games are quite tricky, so without "introduction and scaffolding from a real human being" (as Zachtronics calls it), some pupils might struggle. Still, Zachtronics is an excellent developer, so the opportunity to use its games in education shouldn't be missed. You can check out the official Zachademics page for more info.
Are you an educator? Will you be using Zachtronics games in your classes? Let us know in the comments below!