Josh Welber and Wade Tinney think that playing games makes people smarter. "We believe that all games are educational in some way," says Tinney. In 2001, he and fellow Parsons MFA Design and Technology program alumnus Welber founded the game development company Large Animal Games, now a highly successful firm. "The players play within a sandbox defined by rules and explore the boundaries of that system," he explains. "Games teach people how to better understand systems, which is useful in all fields of knowledge."
The challenge of understanding systems is a powerful motivator for Tinney and Welber themselves. The duo chose to design games because games are the most difficult kind of interactive design to create. "We found that challenge really interesting and engaging," explains Tinney. But they are also inspired by the social aspect of gaming. Says Tinney, "We love the idea that the products we make help millions of people interact in a playful way. Both Josh and I find it incredibly exciting to be able to connect people in that way."