The Game Agency: Making Learning Fun through Games

Today, people spend more time online through smartphone, tablet and computer than ever before. The average person today consumes digital media for nearly 11 hours each day and diverts their attention between their tablet, smartphone or computer almost 21 times every hour. Simply put, people now do not consider what they are looking at, but rather “what else they should be looking at?” The way we communicate has fundamentally transformed in day-to-day life. And it becomes difficult for companies to get audience’s attention through conventional techniques. The simple answer, however, is games. Games engage people with social and competitive elements which result in heighten attention, sustain focus, and drive action.

Solving Engagement, Retention and Budget needs

With the vision of developing games to make education, corporate training, and consumer marketing more fun and effective, The Game Agency solves your engagement, retention and budget needs. At the very heart, Game Agency is a software development company focused on building game-based solutions that complement company’s eLearning, mLearning, instructor led training, and large events. And the company does this by providing a practice playground for your learners to connect better with your content, and offers trainers rich data to measure effectiveness.

The Game Agency is made up of 50+ employees from all walks of life but all united behind the common goal of making K-College and corporate training more fun and effective with game-based solutions. By using games to educate learners (kids and adults alike), schools and companies can meet them where they are with something they already like (games). The result you ask? Active learning, higher engagement, and improved retention. The company has two offices (Stamford, CT and Seattle, WA) and its clients include Amazon, Comcast, PayPal, Philips, Siemens, Wells Fargo, and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies.

Custom Game Development: The Game Agency makes engaging training games that improve comprehension and change behavior. Each game is designed to marry smart instructional design and polished game play. The games are used for new-employee on-boarding, sales and product training, leadership development, safety, security, compliance, systems & processes, customer service, and many other training topics.

The Training Arcade: The Game Agency has created a game authoring tool that allows anyone to create training and reinforcement games in minutes. It’s easy to use, fun to play, and extremely rich with analytics. The company’s library of games provide a variety of different mechanics that train your brain to improve learning outcomes.

Motivate Cloud: The company also has a gamified, social, reward-based learning platform that keeps employees more engaged by letting them earn coins, unlock badges, level up, and climb the leaderboard for completing training and sharing helpful content.

The Driving Forces behind the Innovation

The Managing Partner and Head of Creative, Stephen Bear oversees the creative strategy and execution for campaign rollouts. In addition, Stephen writes a monthly column for Forbes.com and is a regular speaker at EdTech conferences. For the past 15 years, he has been creating games to educate and activate audiences. Since launching The Game Agency 12 years ago, Stephen has developed award-winning games for new-employee on-boarding, sales and product training, leadership development, safety, security, compliance, systems & processes, customer service, and many other training topics. Stephen has also helped shape the education industry and disrupt traditional learning methods with the creation of interactive games such a S.T.E.M, Financial Literacy and Social Skills which have been deployed in thousands of schools. Prior to starting The Game Agency, Stephen was the director of marketing at Atari Inc where he oversaw marketing for several of their brands and started a new division focused on custom marketing games for non-gaming companies.

Joseph Mcdonald is the Managing Partner & Head of Production. Joseph oversees strategy and production. Joe works with clients and staff to identify, shape and deliver solutions that drive results and grow relationships. Prior to founding The Game Agency, Joe was head of Business Affairs for Atari Inc. and oversaw the growth of licensing and revenue from new channels. Joe formed a division within the company designed to bring the power of gaming to non-gaming clients and this served as the incubator for what eventually become The Game Agency. Earlier in his career, Joe was Manager of Licensing for Disney Music Publishing and EMI Music.

Richard Lowenthal is the Managing Partner & Head of Business Operations. Richard heads-up Business Services. Along with lots of interesting war stories, he brings to the fore over 25 years of game development, publishing, and training experience. Richard has had the good fortune of working on training games with such companies as Intel, Microsoft, Merck, and Pfizer and educational games with National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, Disney, and The Learning Company. He’s also negotiated licensing deals for world-class brands including Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Monopoly, Scrabble, Bicycle Cards, Sesame Street, Crayola, and National Geographic. After computer punch-cards went the way of the Dodo bird but before the first cellphone, Richard graduated with high honors from the University of Texas in Austin with a B.S. in Aerospace engineering and earned the school’s prestigious Presidential Scholarship. Yes, he’s a rocket scientist. His tombstone will read: “He Helped People Do Their Jobs Better”.

Achievements and Vision

According to Stephen, it is difficult to pin point one moment when they felt their hard work has paid off. However, he shared, “Our average employee has been with the company for 5+ years. I believe this is a testament to our culture. Over the past few years we have won dozens of industry and business awards based on the quality of our work and our rapid growth. Once a client starts working with The Game Agency, most come back again and again. These are a few things that tell me all of our hard work is paying off.”

The Training Arcade is the company’s big focus right now. It plugs into PowerPoint, the most popular authoring tools, and just about any LMS. In a recent study of >700 games from Training Arcade, they identified a few key stats: 4 minutes – average game session; 2.5x – average number of times people played each game and 64% improvement in knowledge retention. “We believe our games are delivering 10 minutes of highly engaging training reinforcement since learners are proactively returning for more and we’re excited to see a significant lift in knowledge across all of our players,” Stephen said.  Adding games and features, integrating with more products, and customizing for existing and future subscribers is The Game Agency’s main focus in 2019. The company’s goal is for 100% of the Fortune 500 to be using its platform and to begin an aggressive rollout into K-College.

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