When I was a kid, I actually attended Montessori school up to sixth grade in Atlanta, Georgia. And at the time, I didn’t think much about it, but then later, I kind of realized that that was kind of the high point of my education. From that point on, everything else was pretty much downhill.
People call me a game designer, but I really think of these things more as toys. But I started getting very interested in Maria Montessori and her methods, and the kind of way she went about things, and the way she thought it very valuable for kids to kind of discover things on their own, rather than being taught these things, just kind of overtly. And she would design these toys, where kids in playing with the toys would actually come to understand these deep principles of life and nature through play. And since they discovered those things, it really stuck with them so much more, and also they would experience their own failures; there was a failure-based aspect to learning there. It was very important.
You can watch the full video at http://www.ted.com/talks/will_wright_makes_toys_that_make_worlds.html.