On May 24th, 2019, we announced our new company, GameBender. The soul of GameBender is our mission "The World is a Construction Kit." We encapsulated this mission over the last 4 years in GameBender OS (software that lets you create and modify games, apps, and DIY TV shows, while you play). We were so excited to share it with the community that we followed quickly by launching a campaign for the first product, a game console with GameBender OS inside.
First of all, the support of dedicated backers has been amazing. We love our community, and we love the movement behind Makey Makey and GameBender. Feedback from our community is extremely important and has proved invaluable during the last 7 years. Here are a few recent GameBender quotes from the community:
Here are the code tools in GameBender OS. They are essential to the idea of transforming games on the fly using code.
The heart of GameBender OS: The code tools that let you glitch and filter any game, app, or DIY TV show on GameBender OS.
We thought the first experience with coding should look more like throwing code at a game, and less like building a game from the ground up. Internally we call this the "Madlibs" approach to coding literacy, because you stick a few blocks of code into a longer "code story" (aka a game) and see what happens.
Code Cards that show you how to make glitches so you can create your own code tools to bend games.
Our first stab at bringing GameBender OS to the community was, as you know, in a game console. We are listening to our community, and we are no longer sure if this is the right form factor for our software, though we will continue to research and get feedback.
We will be sharing GameBender at ISTE and we would love your feedback on taking it in a new direction.
After listening to your feedback, we ended our Kickstarter campaign early, and did not take any pledges. We will still carry forward with GameBender OS in a new form factor. Our company lives on and the mission never ends. We will come back soon with an even better offering. The Kickstarter campaign was helpful for our team and strengthened GameBender’s path forward.
We are aiming to create an experience that can really resonate with kids and teens, and we thought a console would serve as a more nutritious example of how to spend screen time. But after listening to you, our community, we are revisiting the console assumption as well as how we present this product given its many features. We are specifically thinking about educators and classrooms.
The feedback we've received from our community and our Kickstarter backers has been incredibly helpful. GameBender is much stronger today thanks to your thoughtful suggestions and we’re excited to take what we’ve learned here and make an even better experience in a new form.
We will be following up to ask all of our subscribers questions to continue to create a better experience, and let them know when it becomes available.
Thanks to your feedback, many classroom pilots, beta testing, talking to educators at ISTE 2019, and research, we will come back to you with an even better GameBender!