The New York Academy of Sciences will be keeping an eye on players of the upcoming online science education game Galxyz when it launches in 2015. The inspirations for developing an online educational game for children that teaches STEM education (for kindergartners to 12th graders) came from a father watching his young daughters quickly getting bored while playing science education games. He wanted to create something a bit more challenging, and ultimately more effective.
Riot Games announced that the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) is ready to kick off its 2014-2015 season. The NCAC is a League of Legends collegiate competition featuring hundreds of teams from universities across the U.S. and Canada. Last year 540 teams from over 300 universities competed for a chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
The 2014-2015 NCAC competition will now span the entire academic year and North America has been divided into four new regional brackets: North, South, East, and West.
Rovio has teamed up with Room to Read, a non-profit literacy advocacy group whose goal is to promote reading and gender equality in Asia and Africa. For the next two weeks Rovio will offer a "Good Deed" coin as an in-game purchase for Angry Birds Epic. Rovio will donate $1.40 from each $3.99 purchase to Room to Read to help drive its initiatives abroad.
Educational game company Tangible Play has generated around $2 million in pre-orders for Osmo, its educational game platform for iPad, according to Gamasutra. The accessory kit, which retails for around $49, is shipping to to preorder customers - including more than 2,000 schools. Tangible Play is a Silicon Valley startup founded by former Google, Disney and Ubisoft employees.
According to statistics released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) this week, around 390 academic institutions across the country are now offering video game-related certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees.
As the ESA points out in its release, that represents a 50 percent increase over the 254 schools that offered video game-related education in 2009. While there are schools all over the country that are now offering these types of courses, California had the most with 73 schools, followed by New York with 26, and 24 each in Illinois and Texas.
The SETI Institute announced that it will be hosting the "SETI-JAM" October 17th-19th at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. What the hell is a SETI-Jam? It's a collaborative game-building event that will include over 70 scientists who will design games of any genre that use genuine SETI data. The event's focus is on the Drake Equation, a calculation that estimates the number of 'communicative extra-terrestrial civilizations' in the Milky Way galaxy.
Valve Software is increasing its support for iD Tech by providing attendees with free access to Valve-created games, free Steam accounts, and access to the company's Source SDK. Valve has been a long-time corporate sponsor of the iD Tech educational program.
Parents have a hard time getting their young children to read, so if that means letting them read "anything" that can capture their imaginations, then they'll take that option. This Associated Press report offers some anecdotal evidence that books associated with Mojang's game Minecraft is a popular choice for kids as reading options, and parents and even teachers are happy with that.
Epic Games announced today that it is giving away its Unreal Engine 4 game development suite for free to universities and students. Teachers and students interested in obtaining Unreal Engine 4 for free can now submit their credentials through Epic's official site at www.unrealengine.com/education. Once approved, they will have access to the suite for free. Normally that Unreal Engine 4 license would cost $19 per month.
A new game from Budding Biologist created in collaboration with scientists at UC Davis teaches first- and fifth-graders to think like a scientist using inquiry-based tools on a fun adventure.
Zabuza Labs has launched "Save Trees - A Game for Social Cause" for Android-based devices, a simple game that offers a message about conservation and protecting the environment. The game promises to entertain with simple gameplay mechanics while delivering a "social message" and educational information on trees.
Depression Quest, an interactive fiction game about dealing with the peaks and valleys of depression, has finally made its way to Steam this week. Available for free, Depression Quest is the creation of Zoe Quinn. The game was originally released on February 14 of last year, but had to wait until January of this year to get the "greenlight" from Steam.
Little Worlds Interactive has released its strategic tower defense game, The Counting Kingdom on Steam Early Access today. What's interesting about The Counting Kingdom is that the main gameplay mechanic involves solving math problems to cast spells.
In The Counting Kingdom, players jump into the shoes of a wizard's apprentice who must stop a horde of angry monsters from destroying the castle towers in the kingdom by using spells, potions, and food old fashioned mathematics.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Professional Programs unveiled a new academic course dedicated to the study of video game development. The course, "Interactivity: A Course in Video Game Design and Development," will be taught by video game scribe Marianne Krawczyk (best known for her work on the God of War and Prince of Persia series) and Sony Computer Entertainment’s Senior Manager of Internal Production, Whitney Wade.
In an interview with Medical Research, Lynn E. Fiellin talks about how video games are helping to teach young people about risk prevention related to HIV. Fiellin is an M.D., an Associate Professor of Medicine Yale University School of Medicine, and the director of play2PREVENT Lab.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), and HHF’s Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today announced applications are now open for the second annual ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The program provides minority youths with an opportunity to promote social change through video games, according to the ESA. The Fellowship program will award 20 people between the ages of 15 - 25 with grants to create video games or mobile applications which seek to solve problems that face their communities.
The Raspberry Pi foundation has announced that it has upgraded its cheap micro computer to a new version called Model B+. Described as the "final evolution" of the first-generation Raspberry Pi, the new hardware comes with two more USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader and 14 more GPIO pins for a total of 40 on the board.
Developer Pixelberry's High School Story, a game that took on the issue of bullying in High School, has set its sights on another important issue: teen boy image issues and eating disorders. A new version of the mobile game aims to provide "educational resources and professional support to the 20.2 million American teenagers who are unhappy with their bodies."
The Los Angeles Mayor's office and the Los Angeles Unified School District recognized over 150 students today who were certified through the Digital Living Project. The program focuses on online privacy and safety, cyberbullying prevention, and introducing students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based careers.
GamesIndustry International has an excellent article chronicling the plight of a female developer whose game was banned from Apple's App Store for depicting a sexual act. At first blush the game, HappyPlayTime, might sound like pornography, but it's more about education in a fun and entertaining way, according to its creator.
Playing computer games such as Angry Birds and Lemmings teaches children some pretty important life skills including concentration, resilience and problem solving. Professor Angela Mcfarlane, an education expert in the United Kingdom who has advised the government there on educational technology (she is also currently writing a book called "Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation") and will soon become the head of the College of Teachers.
Ukie, the trade group representing the games and interactive entertainment industry in the United Kingdom, announced that it has teamed up with Staffordshire University for a one day student and indie developer conference at the university's campus in Staffordshire, UK (College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE, United Kingdom).
A new study from a team of researchers in Buenos Aires concludes that letting young children play specialized computer games can lead to improved grades in school. A paper detailing the research was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers enlisted the assistance of 111 first graders in Argentina to determine if children who play tailored computer games could demonstrate what is known in the profession as "far transfer" of executive functions to the real world.
Most parents of young children will tell you that it is hard to get your children to brush their teeth regularly and properly without some prodding, nagging and constant reminders. Luckily, there's an app for that.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, Baylor Scott & White Health and UT Dallas have developed a simulation game that teaches doctors and nurses to work more collaboratively and to avoid conflicts that can bottleneck patient care. The game puts participants in tense situations in a virtual world so that they can learn how best to avoid those situations in the real world.
The Neurotechnology Industry Organization announced that the NeuroGaming Conference & Expo will return to San Francisco May 7-8 with a line-up of high profile speakers, new exhibitors, and even a gamejam to make this year's event memorable. In its second year, the NeuroGaming Conference focuses on the convergence of mind and body with game play using all kinds of cutting-edge technology including virtual reality, neurosensing, motion and gesture control, augmented reality, haptics, eye tracking, facial recognition and more.