NEW YORK, May 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine year-old Abby Mank loves animals, Minecraft and has always wanted to be the star of a video game. Although born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, anyone who meets her quickly discovers that she is full of curiosity, creativity and strength. When McGraw-Hill Education, the learning science company, heard that they might be able to help fulfill her one true wish, they jumped at the opportunity!
Read more about Abby's wish here: http://www.mheducation.com/prek-12/abbys-wish
A lot of kids love video games, and Abby is no exception. When the Wish Granters from the Make-a-Wish Foundation came to visit Abby to find out about her wish, she immediately said she wanted to "be in a video game with animals where I could drive a car." It was an unusual request, but Make-A-Wish Wisconsin began looking for a game developer who might be up to the task of turning Abby into a star.
As luck would have it, Wisconsin is home to Filament Games, a production studio that develops teaching and learning games, not far from where Abby lives. Filament was working on a new McGraw-Hill Education game-based component for Inspire Science, the company's core science curriculum for grades K-5, when the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted them—and the game just happened to need a new lead character. McGraw-Hill Education was thrilled to help make Abby's wish come true by doing what they do best—inspiring and motivating kids to learn by integrating game-based technologies into their learning models, enhancing student comprehension and retention.
Abby visited Filament's studios to meet the development team, see concept art, and play a demo version of the game. Later, she worked with the art team to choose her character's different outfits and phrases she would say. Her friends and family were invited to a surprise unveiling party where Abby was able to see the finished game component and play it for the first time. Abby was overjoyed to serve as the celebrity guest at the unveiling, where she was greeted by her "fans" and signed autographs as she walked through a sparkly balloon-filled "red carpet."
Now, Abby is the star of Animobile Adventure, an educational game used in elementary classrooms across the country. Players drive around, exploring worlds and learning about animal adaptions, and using what they learn to solve challenges. Abby's character, Ruby, is the player's guide and companion, who, as Filament producer Maxwell Zierath puts it, "joins players on adventures around the world, discovering animals and giving out advice and tips."
"I just loved watching her face throughout this experience...I could tell just how much this wish really meant to her," said Abby's mother. "We're so grateful to everyone who made it happen."
About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals drive results. McGraw-Hill Education has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in nearly 60 languages. Visit us at mheducation.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
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SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education