For the first episode of Ludiphilia I've gathered two stories about learning by playing systems-driven games. One is about the educational value of Minecraft, and the other is about a guy who studies something he calls play design and who developed two of my favourite bits of playful software in recent memory.
First I talk to Santeri Koivisto, the CEO and co-founder of TeacherGaming — the small company behind (educational repackaging's of Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program) MinecraftEdu and KerbalEdu — about the company's goals, approach to education, background, and more.
Then I move onto Chaim Gingold, a PhD student at the University of California Santa Cruz and researcher at the Communications Design Group. He's writing his thesis on play design. But he's famous for developing the Creature Creator for Maxis' SimEverything game Spore, and more recently he made an iPad app called Earth Primer — a science book for playful people. You can buy Earth Primer from the App Store for AU$12.99/US$9.99/GB£7.99.