The EdUGames business model is unique in that it uses the Internet and
the World Wide
Web in establishing a virtual organization with few collocated employees, no inventory and
physical space. Most of the members in the virtual organization are independent Researchers,
Research Associates, Authors or volunteers. The only qualifications for
members are that they are intelligent, computer savvy and can communicate via the
Internet in English. They can be located anywhere in the world. This includes students
or teachers in high schools on the East Coast, professors in Eastern European cities
and shut-ins anywhere.
Background and Goals:
The EdUGames product is a patented, educational computer game concept that is divided
into two parts: EdUGames, which is the computer program itself, and the educational
or knowledge material, which is referred to as content. Content is a wide
assortment of electronic data types from text and line drawings to sound bytes and
video clips. The copyrighted EdUGames electronic data format is a means of integrating
content into an exciting, interactive, competitive, multimedia rich, educational computer
The EdUGames program is written in Java and runs on any Java enabled browser. The
code is integrated into web pages as Applets that are accessible via the world wide
web. The Applets pull from a large database of Rounds and Resources available on
the EdUGames web server to create an educationally challenging and rewarding interaction.
The Ultimate Company Goal is to eventually capture the whole world's knowledge base
in game format and make it available to everyone, everywhere in all languages.
although the ultimate goal can never really be reached, it can be approached in large
part by tapping into the resources of people in the CyberOrganization. This
is similar to the eBay model where others are invited to link their goals
and ambitions to the company's mission.
The Cyber Organization is a world wide network of people who can participate
in content production, selection and sales via the web. The requirement are that they
have a web based computer and know how to use it, understand English and can do the
The content production process does not require a computer programming skills and can be accomplished
by anyone familiar with the subject matter. We have provided the tools to format
and validate the material and the organizational structure to facilitate its flow from
the creation process to the Master Data Bases and Resource Library.
The Production Plan
The Production plan is simple:
- Break up the production process into small, well
defined units of electronic research that can be metered out to people and organizations
interested in accomplishing them for fun and/or profit.
- Establish a group of Research
Associates (RAs) to manage the process.
You can think of content creation as a process similar to manufacturing a car.
a car assembly plant you have an assembly line on which a product is moved along
the factory floor.
stages, people and robots add value to the product. At various stages people, robots
or computers do quality checks. In the case of EdUGames, the assembly line is the
Internet, the product is electronic data and the stages are the EdUGames web server
and the computers of the people who are part of the CyberOrganization.
As An example, we will use the creation of material dealing with WW II as follows:
- A Project Manager might create the outline to a table that lists important WW
II battles on the row axes and information about the battles on the column axes.
Things like when?, where?, the generals on each side?, who won?, etc.
- This is incorporated into a Research Assignment to complete the table and is
placed out for bid at the EdUGames web site.
- Following a bidding period, a Research Contract is awarded to a History
Student at UC San Diego who researches the subject, completes the table and
it back to the Project Manager.
- On the Approval of the Project Manager, the Student gets paid for her/her work.
- The Project Manager forwards part of the Table via email to another Researcher
who is an expert at locating points on maps. This Researcher creates a column indicating
a map file name and the coordinates on that map for each of the battles.
- He emailed it back to the Project Manager and, on approval, gets paid.
- The Project Manager adds the column of map information to the Table.
- The Table is forwarded to another Researcher who then uses the information in
the Table to create Rounds for the Game L: Locations. The Rounds will
show a map, make a statement about the battle and ask the players to place their
tokens as close as possible to where the battle happened. Another
Round, Game D, might ask the question when did it happen, or who won etc.
- The Rounds are placed into the Master Data Base (MDB) where they can be viewed
and selected for Sets by Teachers and Game Masters.
- Players can then go to the EdUGames
web site and play the Sets.
Researchers will be able to go to the EdUGames Web Page, see Research Assignment
listings and bid on them. Notices to Proceed
are issued via email and the completed work returned via email and/or uploaded to the
web server. The completed work can be redirected to other Researcher for quality
checks and eventually make its way into completed products as outlined above.
One of the advantages of using email and data uploads is that information can flow
with a minimum of labor cost. A lot of the functions of research contract award,
review and updates can be done automatically. It is actually easier in many ways
to create a computer program to do a work process than to write a task assignment
for a person to do it. And the computer program never gets sick, takes a day off
As will become apparent in reading the attached documents, content creation falls
into two categories: That which is owned by EdUGames and that which is owned by Authors
and Resource Owners. The latter is used by EdUGames in return for royalties (See
EdUGames Author Contract).
the emphasis is on creating content through Researchers which will be owned by EdUGames.
At some point, the decision will be made to start up the Royalty
Model. Once started,
it would be difficult to discontinue because of its complexity and legal agreements.
The Royalty Model is not opened to everyone. It will be restricted to people who
can bring more to the table than EdUGames can get with simple Research Contracts.
People who have a reputation in a particular field, unique knowledge or a creative
mind that can be more fully tapped by a Royalty Model compensation system will be
first. The Model is also a vehicle to tap the archives of large content providers
like CNN and ABC News for example. Archive content providers are not impressed by
salesmen and hypothetical models. They are impressed by working
product cash flow. They therefore will not be approached until the system is up and
running and generating revenue.
The School Marketing Plan is simple:
- Make the program free to Schools and Libraries.
- Make EdUGames so useful to Teachers that they will incorporate it into their
- Make it available on a subscription basis to homes.
- A student confronted with an assignment to play a Set will find it easier to
convince his/her parent to subscribe and allow them to play it at home than to play
it for free on a School or Library computer.
EdUGames can complement any corporate training effort. The revenue
model is based on site licenses, service agreements and fee based content
creation and training.
It has been estimated that over ten percent of America's children are being
Home Schooled. EdUGames provides not only an opportunity to tap this
potential market for revenue, but more importantly, it provides an opportunity for
home schooling parents to become contributing members of the
For-profit companies that are in the business of providing additional or
primary education to students are a good market for the competitive aspects
of EdUGames. This is especially true for the companies that provide after
school education supplements like SCORE.
Book, Video and Magazine Connection
Every chapter in a text book could have a Set covering the material presented
in it. The same applies to educational video series like Nova or
what you might find on the History or Discovery Channel. A
Set could be created each week covering current events with links back to
articles in News Week or Time magazine. There is a daily
Cross word puzzle in the newspaper, why not a daily EdUGames Set in the Internet
This model will be supported by fees from the underlying media or advertising.
The internet allows any site to create a two way link to EdUGames. We can create
a game to support any advocacy site such as the Red Cross. EdUGames can be
used to point out facts and figures, or as a tool to get a handle on the
knowledge level of a person concerning a specific subject. When the players are
finished, the results are returned to the sponsoring site. This
information can then be used to redirect the players to relevant information.
A commercial site is supported by banner ads specific to the game material
such as car insurance or driving school ads for a game on a state driver's
Entertainment Sites recognizes the fact that EdUGames is fun to
play, just like the board game Trivial Pursuit. However, because we can
use the programming power of the server, the possibility exists of creating
robust games which use the underlying EdUGames driver to create points, travel
distance or other items of exchange in the overlying game.
In a brain storming session we toyed with the idea of an Exotic Game that creates an erotic atmosphere by challenging
explore their boundaries, and in the process learn more about themselves.
Probably one of the most unusual aspects of the Business Plan is the use of non
to accomplish most, if not all of the work. Because the product is electronic data,
there is nothing that can't be transferred via the Internet. Because payment for
research is tied directly to measurable items, motivation of researchers is more
easily managed. Because the parts of the production process are simple and well defined,
we will be able to draw on a large source of Researchers and can balance work
assignments as a function of quality.
Business Model Status
The Java program and over two thousand Rounds have been completed. If you
are interested in playing a game go ahead.
The basic contract documents have been
staffed through a lawyer and are now available on the Company Web Site. Initial Researcher
and Project Management Position Descriptions have been created and are available
at the company web site. Additional material is being created as needed. The Authoring
tools Set Compilation Tools and a third of the Assessment Tools are completed. The goal is to have 25,000
Rounds by the start of 2006.