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Namco Bandai Brings RPG Elements to Textbooks

Learn science and math like you're playing a Tales game.


Tales of Symphona, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of... Geography? Students in classrooms throughout Japan may end up getting something like that next year as Namco Bandai enters the textbook business.

Reported today at Asahi, Namco Bandai is working with textbook publisher Gakko Tosho to produce a new type of textbook for elementary schools. Namco Bandai will be contributing a number of unique elements to these textbooks, most notably an RPG-like storyline for the math textbooks.

Each volume of a math textbook will have a problem corner titled "Math Adventure." Students follow an RPG-like storyline as they solve problems. Get the correct answer, and you earn keys. Collect all the keys, and you earn a treasure of some form. This "game" has clearly defined characters -- for example, Yuto, who was born on July 25, is full of energy but is bad at math.

Books for math, science and language arts are being produced for placement in classrooms as early as next Spring.

Commenting on the deal, Namco Bandai CEO Shukuo Ishikawa said "We wanted to be a part of the creation of textbooks, which are a symbol of school education."

A Gakko Tosho rep said that their goal in this new approach to textbook production is to make something that separates it from other textbook makers. Gakko Tosho's current share in the textbook market is between 10 and 20%, according to Asahi.

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