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Jason Wiser: I designed Monsters in the Elevator for (and with) my daughter. We wanted to explore collaborative games, like Forbidden Island, and to have a fun context to practice her math skills.
Monsters in the Elevator was created after a year of experimenting with early math games. We are big fans of games like The Counting Kingdom by Little Worlds Interactive where the math work is critical to the fun of the game, rather than being slapped onto a mechanic that works without it.
The primary math skill required is counting by tens, in order to sum the Monsters in the Elevator. If a child has not yet learned this skill, or the secondary math skills of specific cards, this game is a great way to teach and practice them!
MITE has gone through months of testing and development stages, with non-math mechanics streamlined and replaced with opportunties to practice addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division. This is also a great gme for learning to estimate
-- an important skill for 7-11 year olds.
Special thanks to Chris Barney, Joe Kissenworth, the judges of the 2016 Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the Hasbro Gaming Lab team for input and feedback.
Learn more in the Hasbro Contest Interview
Jason Wiser teaches Game Design and Animation at Harvard, Tufts,
Emerson, and Northeastern Universities. He is Chair of the Media
Arts & Animation department at The New England Institute of Art and
has taught master classes at Pixar Animation Studios, Microsoft, and
He is the Creative Director of Yaya Play Games and his published games
include Slam Bolt Scrappers (PS3/Steam), Dance Central (XBOX/Kinect),
and DinoTrucks (iPad). His animation has appeared on the Disney ABC
Family show "Greek," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in
robotics projects at the MIT Media Lab.
His cooperative card game "Monsters in the Elevator" won Best Family Game at the 2016 Boston Festival of Indie Games and is a finalist for the 2017 Hasbro Game Lab competition.
Monsters in the Elevator Poster image from a sketch by Anna Giannuzzi