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The White House hosts a game jam

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

More than 100 game developers, many paying their own way, came to Washington last week to participate in the first game jam sponsored by the White House.

The games they made spanned subjects from ecology to astronomy to political science, following President Obama's call, made in 2011, to create educational software "as compelling as the best video game." The event was sponsored by the Education Department, and featured teams with ties to Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and other major industry players.

Mark DeLoura, an advisor in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, and himself a 20-year games industry veteran (including posts at THQ and Google) called the event a success. He told USA Today that for video games to break through as educational tools, many more, touching a vast range of academic subjects, need to be built.

"We need scale," he told USA Today. "We need lots of data. We need lots of designs."

You can see some of them in the videos above and below. At top is Function Force 4, a math game developed by a team from American University. And below are Rare Earth by Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Magic Leap, and Accel-o-rama, by a team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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