The Primer is a game of skill development. By asking and answering questions on 90 topics, the game itself becomes smarter about what questions to ask next. It’s a Socratic game that doesn’t mark you down for being wrong, it just knows to ask again when you’ve had more experience. As your skill increases, so does The Primer’s expectation of you.
Your Skill Level determines which Cards to show you for each topic. Beginners answer simple questions to establish a baseline, and the more they play, the more complex interactions they unlock. Higher level players ask their own questions and have more influence over what answers are worth the most points and which content should be removed.
School at its heart is a race against the clock. Students choose, or have chosen for them, a set of Classes that take place over a period of time. In game terms, players take challenges on timed intervals, and if their scores are good enough, they move on to the next round and can unlock new Classes, otherwise they start over.
Each one of these activities could be seen as a game. A quiz has rules and a score, but the rewards are not as exciting. They are framed in a context of loss aversion. The purpose of education is to decide what students should know, see if they know it, and if not, teach them. The current system is focused on the Exam as the end goal. The point of revealing a weakness is to strengthen it, not punish it. It’s important to be challenged, but if doing well means a bonus, the only way to lose is not to play.
It makes more sense to have the exam at the beginning, to identify weaknesses and suggest content to fill in the player's skill gaps. Games are most fun when you're playing at your level. If school is too easy, it's boring, if it's too hard, it's scary. Passing a test is a relief, but reaching a goal gives satisfaction.
The Primer is first and foremost a learning tool,
and like Wikipedia and Khan Academy, we believe
it should be free to anyone who wants to use it.
We are a small team with limited resources, and our ability to release updates is directly tied to how much we can raise. Your generous contributions make the difference between releasing The Primer in months or years.
The Alpha version of The Primer has been funded and is available to play. This version is open to University of Washington students, faculty, and alumni to save their progress and start building up the game's question suggestion system. Even if you don't have a uw.edu email address, you can still try the demo and see the content evolve. Once we reach our second fundraising level anyone will be able to create an account and participate in our public Beta.
Increase your level in Skills from Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, and Math.
Prompt Cards allows The Primer to crowdsource Question and Fact Cards from student players.
The way you answer questions will dictate which questions you receive in the future. Make your best guess.
By answering true or false, Fact Cards are verified for future elaboration.
The Primer was designed by University of Washington Masters students at the Human Centered Design and Engineering department. In HCDE we focus on usability, so we know that ideas need to be thoroughly tested before going out to the public.
That's why we are conducting our alpha at UW. Before a game like The Primer can be given to kids, the information needs to be thoroughly vetted and verified. Sign up today and make your mark.
In the public Beta, anyone will be able to create an account and sign in to The Primer. The goal of this phase is to answer the questions entered during the Alpha. Those answers will be pooled according to each question and then voted on via the new Sort card. Before giving The Primer to younger students, we need to verify that questions are appropriate and create a model for what the correct answers look like.
Anyone can sign up and create an account. The focus will be on building a baseline for final release.
Image cards will be added to the pool to give more options to visual Skills like Taxonomy and Color.
Players can choose between popular answers to determine which ones will be worth the most points.
Players will be offered different Cards based on their Skill Levels and how they've responded in the past.
Once the question network has been put through its paces and questions have been sorted by difficulty, The Primer will be ready for high school students to play. To better integrate The Primer into classrooms we will build tools for teachers to see their students' progress and suggest learning materials based on their responses. They can pull commonly missed questions and place them in class challenges for students to earn bonus points by completing them.
A curated version of The Primer will be built for schools with the Cards that were verified in the Beta.
Teachers will have the ability to create Cards specifically for their students from their lesson plans.
Cards we want everyone to answer will be given as challenges to see responses across the entire class.
More options will be available for each Skill. Students can focus on Cats or Airplanes when answering Cards.
The Primer is the foundation of a game network. By playing The Primer, you will earn Tokens to be spent on games in Arcadia. This phase of the fundraiser is about setting up a secure link between the two services.
This is the first step in an API that lets you transfer your skills between games. Your ability to sail in an RPG can be dictated by your Skill Levels in Weather, Constellations, and Oceanography. This link will let us build intricate stories, based on you and your real skills. You earned them, so you should be able to take them with you.
Players will receive extra points for correct responses and positive feedback from peer review.
There is more to gauge knowledge than asking questions. We will focus on more interactive content.
Players will be rewarded for study and good work with Tokens they can spend on Arcadia games.
Games by our partners and the modding community can add the Skills you've earned to their games.