BIG GAME HUNTING: Fun times are ahead. Twelve of the 20 recipients of this year's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) went to companies building learning games. In a post on the White House blog, SBIR program manager Ed Metz shared some of the common themes for the proposed games, namely story-based narrative, adaptive component, competition and rewards, and teacher dashboards. Of the 20, math and literacy were the most popular subjects addressed (4 companies each), with STEM/science (3) and autism-related (2) tools also showing. Awardees received grants ranging from $150K to $900K.