Investing in the Future of Digital Play
August 19, 2020 / by Lego Ventures
Play is an important element of learning and development. When children engage in playful experiences, it can help them acquire important 21st Century Skills such as creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. The LEGO Foundation describes ‘learning through play’ as occurring when an experience is joyful, meaningful, engaging, iterative, and interactive. These elements can all be found in digital games, and thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, there are more ways to play and exercise cognitive muscles than ever before.
Digital games and experiences offer a new way to play in entirely new environments, while developing a variety of skills that can be difficult to teach in traditional classroom settings. Digital play provides endless solutions by using entirely virtual worlds where users can use imagination and creativity to solve problems. This is why we at LEGO Ventures are passionate about supporting innovations in digital play – we believe it has the ability to unlock potential, and that learnings from playing games can also positively affect real-world skills such as critical thinking and creativity. In other words, the skills developed while playing digital games can be directly transferred to the real world, demonstrating that gaming has the ability to foster important life skills.
LEGO Ventures invests in startups and entrepreneurs who are creating the future of ‘learning through play’. Within our investment thesis, we look at new games and gaming studios that facilitate skill development through unique methods. An example of a gaming company we’ve supported is Klang, a Berlin-based studio which seeks to explore the future of humanity through virtual simulations. Klang’s initial game, SEED, has the narrative of humans inhabiting a new planet and attempting to build a new society. The game allows players to manage ‘Seedlings’ driven by AI, while collaborating with one another to build fully-functional societies to ensure their survival. Klang offers players with unique challenges that can be tackled with teamwork, creativity, and agility – key skills that are just as necessary in the game as they are in the real world.
In addition to LEGO Ventures’ investments, we have recently launched an in-house Incubation Studio, which investigates trends in playful learning, tests ideas, and validates new businesses concepts. The LEGO Ventures Incubation Studio works with entrepreneurs passionate about the LEGO Idea of learning through play, but who are only at the ideation stage of their startup journey.
If you are developing an innovative game that supports learning, creativity, and play, we’d love to hear from you! You can apply for venture funding or to be part of our Incubation Studio on our website at www.legoventures.com, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to hear more about what we’re up to.