Microsoft launches kids' game "ItzaBitza"

Microsoft has spun off a new video-game company, Sabi Inc., that is launching its first title based on technology developed inside the software giant’s research labs. The Windows PC game, “ItzaBitza,” lets children draw objects that become an interactive part of the landscape on the screen. The game also incorporates reading, using an advanced learning […]

Microsoft has spun off a new video-game company, Sabi Inc., that is launching its first title based on technology developed inside the software giant’s research labs. The Windows PC game, “ItzaBitza,” lets children draw objects that become an interactive part of the landscape on the screen. The game also incorporates reading, using an advanced learning framework developed by a University of Washington professor.

ItzaBitza uses a technology called “Living Ink” that turns sketches drawn on the screen into active parts of the game. The reading techniques follow a framework called “How People Learn,” developed by UW professor John Bransford. Sabi worked closely with Bransford and his team as it developed the game. The words and sentences incorporated into the game become progressively more complex.

The game ($19.99) is designed for children ages 4 and up. It will be available at retail and www.itzabitza.com. Here’s a video of Johnson demonstrating the game for me this week.