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Updated Apr 23, 2014 - 2:57 pm

EA Sports founder releases educational game for kids

PHOENIX — The founder of EA Sports and creator of Madden NFL Football has started a new company to develop games specifically designed to impart social and emotional learning on kids.

“Twenty years of experience as a parent, I have two boys and two girls,” said Trip Hawkins. “For the same length of time, I’ve had a market research lab in my home working with kids and I’ve gotten to know school and parent communities. I realized there a tremendous need and great opportunity the power of computer and games into the field of education.”

Hawkins just released the first game available for iPad from If You Can, called “IF…” According to information provided by the new start-up company, “IF…” for iPad is an interactive role-playing game set in the imaginary town of Greenberry. It is designed to engage the child in a “hero’s journey,” in which they slowly unlock the mysteries of the town and bring two rival factions back into harmony.

The game, which is available for free in the iTunes Store, is meant to educate and entertain children between 7 and 11.

Hawkins goal is to teach kids how to deal with things like bullying, success and failure by learning how to manage emotions, build positive relationships and make good decisions.

“Ultimately, they’ll learn how to collaborate and feel compassion for with each and eventually we’d like to see this skill set help human beings solve big problems like global warming, poverty and pollution,” he said.

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