This is not a test. (It’s way more fun!)

Imagine having some video games that allowed you to teach musical concepts to students on real musical instruments. Also, imagine that you were then able to watch their progress over time and track their development?

Well, the future is now!*

(*Kinda.)

Recently, along with Matthew Thibeault and Ben Smith, I had the pleasure to present at GLS 8.0 in Madison, WI. For those that don’t know, “GLS 8.0″ stands for “the 8th Annual Games, Learning, and Society Conference.” This is my second time coming to the conference and it is truly an inspiring event. (As an aside, it also has the distinction of being one of the most well-run conferences I have ever been to. Any conference that has a free ice cream bar case open for almost the entire day is fine by me!)

The presentation centered around some music games that we prototyped at the University of Illinois and tested with undergraduate music education students. Rather than your traditional Guitar Hero gameplay, these games used an instrument or voice to control what is happening on the screen. They’re very fun and have some real applications in the world of music education. You can read the conference paper here.

You can also download the games here! (Sorry. Mac only… for now!) The games are very simple, but fun! There’s a long jump game where you can work on long tones, a maze where you change your pitch to navigate a maze, and much more! There’s a “Read Me” file included in the file to answer your questions. Try it out and let us know what you think!

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