(blazin’ intro music: “Valley Of Doom” by Random, @MegaRan, from TeacherRapperHero Vol. 2: Two Weeks Notice (mixed by DJ DN³), released 14 June 2011 produced by DN3. contains elements of “Valley Of Doom” by Bear McCreary (DarkVoid))

BJ “Bunneh3000” of the Geekswagg crew sits down with Greg Toppo (@gtoppo), USA Today Education writer and former teacher, to discuss his amazing book entitled “The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter”. A HIGHLY recommended read for teachers, parents, game developers, and gamers, Toppo’s research shines a light on why video games (like Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and more) can be an EXCELLENT learning tool.


For most gamers, we spent a lot of our time defending our hobby. As time has gone along, games have become more complex, more immersive, and required a level of skill and time that most don’t see value in. Thankfully, Greg Toppo’s book is a concrete argument for why video games (even violent ones) are a benefit to how kids learn in today’s technology filled media landscape.


From the neuroscience of how gaming can simulate certain experiences to how it can teach a 4 year old how to do algebra, gaming is described in Toppo’s book as an underused and unjustly feared tool that America’s education system too often shy’s away from.

Imagine walking into a classroom and seeing kids playing World of Warcraft or Minecraft in a guided effort to learn concepts like economy, civics, English, or literature! Mr. Toppo gives real life examples of talented and revolutionary teachers and schools that have taken the digital plunge by incorporating both conventional and educational games (like Backyard Engineers, Dragonbox, and Gamestar Mechanic) into their curriculum.

Listen in on what BJ thinks of the book as well as some of the ideas and themes Greg Toppo brilliantly conveys in the book such as:

  • Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza was obsessed with a video game. . . it’s not the one you think
  • how a 2 inch, digital penguin helped a DC Elementary School post some of t he largest math gains in the city
  • how violence in video games can actually curtail violence in kids
  • the cognitive benefits of games and why they work so well
  • how games can make learning more dangerous and why that’s important

Also discussed is the concept around the Quest To Learn school in Manhattan NYC.

Quest To Learn NYC



Greg Toppo suggests iCivics as a great educational game to try.


dragonbox app



As always check out the Geekswagg crew and their gameplay vids on the Heed Mag Geekswagg Youtube channel. We’ve now begun streaming on Twitch as well so check out Geekswagg Plays on www.twitch.tv/heedgeekswagg. Be certain that you follow us at both locales!

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For more Bunneh3000, visit http://www.bjbrownjr.com and follow him on twitter @Bunneh3000. For more of his gameplay vids, check out and follow his Twitch.tv channel.

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For more Grim Phreaker, visit www.zgameronline.com and follow her on twitter @ZGOTweets. For more of her gameplay vids, check out and follow her Twitch.tv channel.


For more DirtyHelmet, follow him on twitter @DirtyHelmet1 and on his Twitch channel, twitch.tv/dirtyhelmet.


The Geekswagg Podcast is partnered with Round Table Media LLC

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