Guildhall partners to develop app that will teach adult literacy

Jul 24, 2016

Southern Methodist University (SMU) Guildhall, SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) have joined up and formed People ForWords to participate in the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize. Together they are linking their expertise in game development, education and adult literacy to build an immersive fun mobile application that will advance the Adult Literacy industry.

The game will take players all across the world, visiting ancient historical sites while trying to discover the mysteries of their origins — and learning history along the way. The project combines Learning Science and Game Design to create a mechanic where learning is a natural part of the game experience.

Technical development for the project is being led by Guildhall programming faculty, Corey Clark, Ph. D.

"Gaming by itself is educational, but the problem is that most of what is learned is not useful outside of the game," Dr. Clark said. "Our goal is to create a fun game while also teaching literacy."

The challenge, according to Dr. Clark, is to take proven learning methodologies and techniques and re-imagine them into a game mechanic that fits naturally into the game narrative. The aim is for every puzzle to be entertaining and stand on its own, something a person would play just for the challenge and fun.

More information about the project is available at