I've just come back home from Game Industry Trends: KIDS conference, my head full of new ideas and prospective projects. It was the first event of this kind, attended by the game dev industry, innovative educators, and charities focused on children's issues (sadly - but typically - Ministry of Education or other policy-makers did not show up). It seems all sides - business, academia and NGOs - have grown ripe for extensive collaboration with mutual benefits. However, the Polish game industry doesn't have much knowledge of grant programmes which could support serious games projects. B2B / B2C they do immediately, B2G / B2O takes a little longer. ;) It doesn't mean we don't have such initiatives at all, what I mean is we are lagging behind the world. But this is changing - and Gamedec.UKW is going to be part of this change.
Shocking news I heard today from Duckie Deck: mobile games can detect autism! Research says there are specific patterns in the way autistic children manually handle tablets, and tablet sensors can identify them with a high degree of accuracy. Of course, it won't replace a professional medical diagnosis, but it can be an early hint that such examination is needed. Thus, if you make tablet games for pre-school children (even 3-year-olds), they may come with autism-detecting software that will alert you sooner than a kindergarten teacher would. And in the treatment of autism, an early warning is of crucial importance. That's one of the most promising ideas I have ever seen rise from mobile games.