Throughout history, artists and educators have been enchanted with the opportunity of using new media to support learning. Seminal cartoonist Max Fleischer developed documentaries on evolution and on Einstein, as well as training films for the U.S. Navy during World War II. The Bell Labs film series, which were produced by Jack Warner, directed by Frank Capra, and animated by Chuck Jones, brought together top Hollywood talent to develop educational media.
Over the past 25 years, computer and video games have evolved from black-and-white blips made by hobbyists into a complex multi-billion dollar industry. Yet few, if any, examples exist of how this medium might be used to support learning. Traditional "edutainment" is based on limited pedagogical models, and does not take advantage of the games potential to simulate phenomena, engage the player through story, express ideas creatively, or collaborate with other players.