IT faculty and students win Best App award at New Media Film Festival - External Relations
IT faculty and students win Best App award at New Media Film Festival
August 27, 2020
VINCENNES, Ind. - The flagship mobile game created by Creative Wisdom
Games, LLC - cofounded by Vincennes University professors Jaci
Lederman and Newton Lee - won the Best App award at the 11th New Media
Film Festival on Aug. 15.
“Pearls of Wisdom: Chloe’s Adventure” took the top prize during an
award show broadcast live on YouTube from Los Angeles. New Media Film
Festival, an innovative and award-winning festival created in 2009,
celebrates stories, technology, and platforms.
“Pearls of Wisdom: Chloe’s Adventure” is geared toward children ages
2-10 and is available for free on major app stores. The game follows
the journey of Chloe the Clam as she visits places around the world to
learn where pearls come from and collects pearls of wisdom, wise
quotes reflecting on life, kindness, and other subjects that impart wisdom.
Creative Wisdom Games,
LLC provides real-world hands-on experience for students to
prepare for future jobs and entrepreneurship under the instruction of
Lee, a former Disney game engineer and producer, and Lederman,
Information Technology department chair. Both are VU alumni.
Newton Lee, IT Professor
“We offer real-world experiences and award-winning opportunities for
students to showcase their talents and to prepare for a professional
career in the gaming industry which is a $200 billion behemoth pushing
the boundaries of technology and entertainment,” Lee said.
Prize-winning “Pearls of Wisdom: Chloe’s Adventure” showcases the
talent of VU students Christian Swinford, Kyle Lutz, and Jaden Pfoff.
VU students also collaborated with team members across the nation and
globally, including Alan Lim from the University of California in San
Diego and Anna Pogrebniak from King’s College London in the United Kingdom.
Christian Swinford, VU alumnus (wearing red)
“Pearls of Wisdom is a great game for children,” Swinford said. “It
teaches about various cultures while having fun mini-games to keep
them engaged. Creating the game from start to finish was a learning
experience in and of itself, and I look forward to the next iterations
of Pearls of Wisdom in hopes that we take Chloe even further around
the world and we get to show children all sorts of customs and cultures.
“I'm glad Pearls of Wisdom was able to win the award, and I hope that
it helps propel Chloe into the lives of many more children as they
learn that we are all different, but being different is a good thing.”
"If you build it, they will come" is a well-known spin-off
quote based on the movie, “Field of Dreams”. Lederman evaluated VU’s
Technology-Programming and Game Development Degree in 2018 and
this quote came to mind. The only expectation was that the gaming
students were already there in the degree program. In Lederman's
assessment, she identified that a missing piece was their field of
dreams, or in this case a gaming arcade.
After writing and receiving grant funding, Lederman was able to
obtain funding and create the field of dreams, now known as the
Holodome. Gaming students now have a place to develop and showcase
their game creations.
With the Holodome in place, the next enhancement needed for the
gaming degree was a well-established connection to the gaming
industry. With a significant task in front of her, Lederman reached
out to Lee, to ask for his expertise in the gaming industry. It was
decided that all the components to launch a successful gaming company
were right in Vincennes.
Creative Wisdom Games, LLC was born in 2019. The company is on a
mission to engage, educate, entertain, and empower people through
video games. The cofounders use reciprocal inspiration in their unique
approach to game design and development. Encouraging others to find
themselves, the founding educators are at times the students in the
process. The team finds inspiration by engaging with the world around
them. Every game is developed with the goal of empowering those who
play it with newfound knowledge.
Jaci Lederman, IT Department Chair
“A commonality across all of our IT Programs is that we engage our
students in creativity,” Lederman said. “I believe this is a mindset
that becomes a skill. Creativity is ranked No. 1 on the LinkedIn
report, “The Soft Skills Companies Need Most in 2020”, and was also
ranked No. 1 in 2019.
“Developing this app with students is evidence of how we learn and
create in our information technology programs. Winning an award for
our app provides insight into why employers desire creativity as a
skill set, and why we don’t just teach it, we live it.”