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Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins expands educational gaming app

Computer HardwareGaming IndustryGamingApple iPadEA Tiburon
Trip Hawkins' "If" game gets a new chapter and expanded features.
Trip Hawkins has raised $9.3 million for his new educational gaming venture.

Trip Hawkins' educational gaming company If You Can on Thursday released an expansion of its iPad game that aims to teach children lessons about social and emotional behavior.

This year Hawkins, formerly the founder and chief executive of games giant Electronic Arts, unveiled the new game, called "If." Trying to meld the best techniques of gameplay with educational objectives, the game seeks to teach children lessons on things such as compassion and bullies by taking them on a journey with a rich, imaginary set of characters.

The game will eventually enable children to move through a series of chapters, and on Thursday If You Can released the second chapter of the game. In addition, the game now has a dashboard for parents to monitor their childrens' progress and to help them reinforce lessons in the real world.

The game is free to download for the iPad and iPhone, and it can also be played on a Mac or PC. The first chapter is free to play. After that, the games requires a $5-a-month subscription.

The educational gaming market has gotten a lot of hype in recent years, as numerous developers have sought to use games to deliver various educational experiences. However, no one has yet broken out big in that market. 

Hawkins is hoping to change that with his new company, and he's got some impressive investors convinced he can do just that.

This year, Hawkins raised $6.5 million from venture firms Greylock Partners and Almaz Capital. Hawkins had previously raised $2.8 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Maveron.

Follow me on Twitter @obrien.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Computer HardwareGaming IndustryGamingApple iPadEA Tiburon
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