(Discover #Edteq) Scientifically proven games… as motivating as commercial games!

Do you know Ululab, the studio that designed the award-winning educational game Slice Fractions? We present to you the fascinating story of this collaboration between university researchers and commercial video game developers!

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As part of the dissemination of a series of portraits of companies that are members of the Edteq Association (Enterprises for the development of educational technologies in Quebec), it is our pleasure today to present Ululab to you!

Do you know Ululab, the studio that designed the educational game Slice Fractions, winner of many awards? We present to you the fascinating story of this collaboration between university researchers and commercial video game developers!

The Ululab studio was founded following impressive research results: an educational video game created in academia, Mécanika, significantly changed the intuitions of young people on a subject as complex as Newtonian physics. François Boucher-Genesse, creator of the game, therefore wanted to continue creating this type of video game in a university environment, but the research grants for the development of educational products were insufficient.

This is why he founded the Ululab company with two colleagues. Thus, in this model, it became possible to finance development by income from the sale of games. The link with the university environment remained strong, however, and the design is still carried out in collaboration with professors from UQÀM.

Create educational games as motivating as commercial games

“We have our origins in education, software (Microsoft) and commercial video games (Halo 3), explains François Boucher-Genesse, one of the founders. We want to use the strong educational potential of video games, while maintaining their playful qualities. We believe we have succeeded on the fun aspect when a young person wants to play our games as well as other commercial games available on their iPad. "

Ululab's goal is to have a major positive educational impact. To achieve this, the product must first be effective. “Our greatest success is the measured educational impact of our first product, Slice Fractions. Studies by UQAM researchers have shown that three hours of play were enough for grade 3 students to achieve a performance level in fractions comparable to that of grade 4 students! "

Search results explained:

To have a major impact, you also have to reach a large number of people. The company was fortunate to be put forward by Apple, which named Slice Fractions “Editor's Choice” and “Best of the App Store 2014”. The resulting visibility allowed the team to reach a large number of parents internationally. The behavior of the players in the application also shows a surprising enthusiasm of the young learners: in just one month, they have already replayed on average 2 times on each table in the game.

Demonstration of the game: 

“Our biggest challenge to date,” says François, “is to have a significant presence in the school environment, the environment for which our products were originally designed. It is very difficult for a small studio to break into this universe. Our product is effective, but it only covers part of the curriculum, important as that is. We are therefore going to create applications on other subjects in mathematics and are studying the possibility of partnerships with other companies that are already in the school environment. We hope, with these initiatives, to have a greater presence in schools within a few years. "

Objective: to help build a vast library of scientifically proven games

“Our mission will be accomplished when an extensive library of educational games, found to be effective by independent studies, will be available to all learners. If the history of educational games is strewn with a few jewels, most of the products have significant gaps at the play or educational level. "

There is therefore still a lot of room for innovation and research!

If you want more information about Ululab:

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About the Author

Association Edteq
Edteq Association
The Edteq Association (Enterprises for the development of educational technologies in Quebec) brings together some fifty local businesses, small, medium and large, which have at heart school success and perseverance through the use of digital technology. Edteq members jointly pursue these objectives: to promote access to tools and digital content adapted to the Quebec educational program, to be a lever for the adoption of technologies in educational practices, to improve the learning experience and the success of students and allow our “edtech” industry to shine around the world. To know more :

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