Industry veteran and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins announced today the release of IF to iPad, the first title from his new startup game studio If You Can Company.
The release follows $6.5 million funding from venture capital firms Greylock Partners, Almaz Capital and other investors. The company previously raised $2.8 million from founders angels and seed funds.
"Almost every school-aged kid plays games and research shows that playing video games opens the ‘learning centers' in children's brains," said Trip Hawkins, founder and CEO at If You Can. "We have brought together some of the most successful video game creators in history with national experts in SEL to harness this potential and use a game to teach children life skills to thrive both in school and out of school."
IF, which was first announced by the studio last year, is targeted at children aged six to 12-years old. Players take on the role of an animated character in a fantasy simulation and have to learn how to be sensitive to other characters while learning to understand their own emotions. IF uses chapters to teach empathy, offering lessons on what an emotion is, how to identify them, recognizing how others are feeling and how to interact with people in a compassionate way.
The game helps players navigate these concepts and emotions through a combination of storytelling, missions and interactions with other characters in the game's town.
"Although our team includes some of the most renowned game creators in history, leaders of national educational organizations, and experts in the field of Social and Emotional Learning, we're also moms, dads, aunts and uncles; we're teachers, volunteers and concerned citizens," said studio co-founder Jessica Berlinski. "We all share one common goal: we want to make this world a better place, and we believe that empowering and supporting children with these skills is a big part of how to do that."
IF is available for free from the App Store for iPad.