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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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iPad Game Teaches Kids Emotional Life Skills, New Dashboard Helps Moms and Dads Bring Lessons into the Real World

If You Can Company, a learning game startup from Trip Hawkins that uses gameplay to teach children social and emotional learning skills, today released an innovative parent dashboard that is now available along with the successful iPad game, “IF…game.”

Chapter two of “IF…game” was also released today, with additional chapters planned throughout 2014.

The “IF…game” is a chapter-based adventure game that helps children learn social and emotional skills, such as how to manage difficult emotions, persevere through challenges, make healthy decisions and show empathy and compassion. Created for children ages 6 - 12, the game now includes a user-friendly dashboard app for parents to support their children through the journey.

Available as a free app for iPad and iPhone, as well as on the Web for Mac or PC, the new dashboard is the companion to the child’s gameplay. By logging in, “Mom and Dad” see key lesson themes, updates on their child’s accomplishments and suggestions on how to bring lessons from the game to real life. With the dashboard, parents not only see their child’s progress level (beginning, developing, integrated), but see the teaching goals of each chapter.

With each chapter, the child navigates a new “IF…game” adventure, interacting with the powerful combination of storytelling and popular game-play mechanics to engage and motivate. The game is designed to take the child on “a hero’s journey” in which children slowly unlock “IF…game” chapters.

“IF…game” chapters can be completed on a monthly basis in less than an hour per week. Kids play through lessons at their own pace, covering the equivalent of a year’s curriculum at leading social emotional learning (SEL) teaching schools. With the launch of the parent dashboard, “IF…game” chapter two is now available for play, and users who downloaded chapter one will be updated with the new version.

“We’re delighted with the quality, depth and value of this game,” said Trip Hawkins, founder and CEO at If You Can Company. “It’s a big step beyond our preview of chapter one.”

Chapter one was released in early 2014 to rave reviews from a wide variety of constituents, including girls, boys, moms and dads. Parents, teachers and therapists of autistic children have lauded the game for its ability to teach social and emotional skills in an accessible way. Chapter one was downloaded by more than 350,000 users and received “five out of five” stars by nearly 90 percent of the game’s audience.

“When I became a dad, I wanted more than anything for my kids to be happy and capable,” said Hawkins. “I saw how emotional learning could help them navigate the world. I did what dads do: I took my know-how in gaming and focused it on something important that really matters to me as a father.”

IF… game is available for free from the App Store on iPad or here. “IF…game” chapter one is free to play, a subscription at $5 per month/year gives parents access the dashboard and new chapters. Subscribers may use up to three user profiles for different children.

The IF… game was inspired by the Rudyard Kipling Poem, “If,” originally written in 1909 as advice for his son. The power of this classic poem still resonates today; in fact, kids are still reciting the poem. View “If” rap video.

About If You Can Company

If You Can Company is a new startup that uses gameplay to teach children social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Founded by an interdisciplinary team that includes some of the most successful video game creators in history, including Trip Hawkins, the founder EA and EA Sports.

“IF…” leverages an epic narrative and fun game play to teach proven life skills like empathy and perseverance. The game aims to improve children’s daily lives - both in and out of school - by building the skills that successfully equip them to handle bullying, managing difficult emotions and academic challenges. The game will also feature a user-friendly app for parents to support their children for 21st century success. If You Can Company is funded by Greylock Ventures and a number of leading angel investors at major venture firms like Andreesen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Maveron, and others. The company is based in San Mateo, California, close to Draper University of Heroes, a world-class school for the brightest young entrepreneurs from around the world.

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