'Lizard Island Observation' Teaches Children to Think Like Scientists

August 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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'Save Trees - A Game for Social Cause' Now Available

August 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Keynote Speakers Revealed for 2014 Serious Play Conference

July 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Serious Play Conference announced today its line-up of game industry speakers taking part in its fourth annual event from Tuesday, July 22 to Thursday, July 24 at USC in Los Angeles. Speakers for this year's event include Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer at Google; Trip Hawkins, Founder of Electronic Arts (and current CEO of Ifyoucan); and Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer of the City of Los Angeles.

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Letters to the Editor: Animal Activists Need Their Own Bechdel Test

November 19, 2013 - Jon Hochschartner

In our latest Letters to the Editor, freelance writer Jon Hochschartner posits that animal rights activists need their own "Bechdel test" to evaluate the mistreatment of animals in video games.

Animal activists need their own rubric to assess anthropocentrism in fictional work that's similar to the Bechdel test employed by feminists to gauge gender bias.

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Reminder: Games For Change Festival Next Week

June 12, 2013 -

Organizers of the 10th annual Games for Change Festival sent along a reminder that next week the annual event dedicated to games will officially launch. This year the Games For Change Festival will take place at New World Stages in NYC from June 17-19.

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PETA Launches Cage Fight: Knock Out Animal Abuse

June 10, 2013 -

With the tagline "knock out animal abuse," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) new 8-bit style beat 'em up lets you take on "animal experimenters" using real MMA fighter Aaron Simpson and Georgi Karakhanyan, with Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste. Cage Fight: Knock Out Animal Abuse lets players beat up waves of "scummy animal experimenters and free animals from painful laboratory tests."

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Buy Drip Drip, Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

February 4, 2013 -

Indie developer Imminent Games is giving 20 percent of every sale of its game Drip Drip to the Robin Hood Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund through the entire month of February. Drip Drip is described as a 2D strategy game about "saving buildings from extreme weather conditions" for Mac and Windows PCs using water simulation gameplay and a time management challenge.

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Disaster Hero Determines Your Readiness for a Serious Disaster

January 28, 2013 -

The American College of Emergency Physicians announced the launch of a browser-based game meant to gauge the knowledge of families, children, and teachers on disaster preparation. The game, Disaster Hero, was developed by American College of Emergency Physicians using grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Minecraft at the Center of Experimental Lesson Plan at the Viktor Rydberg School in Stockholm, Sweden

January 10, 2013 -

Around 180 students are taking part in a Minecraft based experiment at the Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm, Sweden - according to GameSpot. The school has introduced "compulsory Minecraft lessons" for its 13-year-old students as a means to teach them - in an engaging way - about planning for the future and environmental issues.

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Dr. Gentile Goes to Washington

August 16, 2012 -

Update: We have added a brief statement from Professor Douglas Gentile below.

Next week Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile will be at the White House to discuss how video games can be used to enhance and improve education. He will lead the discussion on a special policy conference to be held at the White House on Wednesday, August 22. The policy conference will examine how games can be used effectively in the broadest sense to improve health, education, civic engagement and the environment.

National Endowment for the Arts Funds Four Games

April 26, 2012 -

The U.S. National Endowment for the Arts will fund four games that explore climate change and literature. This will be the first time the NEA funds video games since it changed its policy in May 2011 to include the category.

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2012 Games for Change Festival Details

April 19, 2012 -

This year's Games for Change Festival is set for June 18-20 in New York City. The event dedicated to promoting social change through video games will offer plenty of activities this year including case studies, roundtables, lectures, demos, and more. Featured speakers for this year's event include Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author (Grand Theft Childhood) and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs; leading researcher, Dr.

Tilt World: Fighting Climate Change Through 'Playsourcing'

April 18, 2012 -

XEOPlay has launched Tilt World, a game that hopes to "end climate change" through "play sourcing." Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEOPlay introduced Tilt World to the audience at DEMO Spring 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. In Tilt World, players control Flip, a tadpole who is trying to conquer climate change by planting trees in the real world using the power of players (playsourcing) and through a partnership with WeForest.org.

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IBM's Phaedra Boinodiris on the Benefits of Collective Intelligence and Gaming

December 14, 2011 -

Phaedra Boinodiris, serious games program manager at IBM, writes a guest editorial on Forbes exploring the way that games can be used to energize and enhance other things besides research projects. The point of her editorial is that researchers have been helped greatly by games created to solve problems that take advantage of "collective intelligence," and global participation.

Gamification Summit Agenda Detailed

August 31, 2011 -

Organizers of the Gamification Summit announced this morning that they have finalized the agenda and speaker program for the September 15-16 conference occurring in New York City. That agenda includes keynotes, featured talks, design intensives, panels, and workshops that (they hope) teach and inform attendees on the subject. GSummit promises to bring together experts from advertising, healthcare, education, government, media, e-commerce, startups and academia to share knowledge and improve engagement with consumers and employees by using gamification techniques.

Games for Change Festival Invades NYC

June 20, 2011 -

The 8th annual Games for Change Festival kicks off today in New York City. The event, which runs until June 22, is taking place at the NYU Skirball Center. The event is dedicated to using games to deal with the most pressing social and political issues that affect the world today by breaking down cultural barriers, shifting perspectives and driving actions in the real world.

This year's event features several sessions addressing games from an international perspective including one focusing on Games For Change in Europe.

In May 2011 the Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes launched the first European Games for Change Festival. Highlights from the first event will be shared with the audience, including some of the new games and European award winners. The session will be presented by Jean-Michel Blottiere, Owner, NX Publishing; Sandra Faggioni, Digital Creation Project Manager, CCIV / POLE IMAGE NPDC and several European award-winners.

Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage Drinking

June 15, 2011 -

Five students from the sixth-grade class at Milton M. Somers Middle School (in Southern Maryland) found themselves playing video games in school to learn about why underage drinking isn't all that cool. The game asked questions about healthy lifestyles and the dangers of underage drinking and provided moments of activity to keep things interesting. It was created by the Century Council, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit group funded by a group of distillers that includes Diageo, Bacardi and Brown-Forman.

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How Sand Mantis and a PS2 Controller Help Deal with Waste

April 14, 2011 -

Here's an interesting story about real world technology that has a minor connection to gaming. Developed for Richland, Washington-based CH2M Hill, the technology is called the Sand Mantis, and it is described by its creator as a new tool that takes rock salt-based waste, and turns it into a fine, powdery waste.

The technology, which is used inside giants tanks, is controlled using a PlayStation 2 controller. After the Rock Salt waste is smashed into a fine powder, it can easily be sucked out of the tank and disposed of. The technology helps CH2M Hill reach their goal of less than 2,700 gallons of waste per tank. It will also reduces cleanup costs; the $2.7 million dollar tool replaces the original $12 million per tank cost estimate. CH2M Hill is best known for creating engineering solutions for waste management and water treatment.

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National STEM Youth Prize Winners Announced

March 30, 2011 -

The winners of the Youth Prize for original game designs have been selected by the National STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Video Game Challenge. The 12 U.S. students (grades 5-8) were announced by United States chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra.

The science-themed "You Make Me Sick!" was awarded the Grand Prize in the Developer Prize category, and a collection of math games called "NumberPower: Numbaland!" received the Collegiate and Impact prizes. Filament Games' Dan Norton and Dan White won the grand prize, and will receive $50,000 for their game about bacteria and viruses.

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THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

March 3, 2011 -

C|Net reports that the citizens of San Francisco are apparently ticked off at THQ - and by extension its partner GameStop - for releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky as part of a mock protest of North Korea - part of a marketing ploy for its new game Homefront. The balloon release happened during the Game Developers Conference. Many of the balloons had a postcard-size flyer attached to it advertising the game. People in the downtown area saw the balloons soaring in the sky, but were disgusted as they watched them land in the San Francisco Bay. That is when some residents began to express their anger. The anger was aimed at GameStop, which was a promotional partner with THQ and whose name appeared on the balloons.

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How EverQuest II Helps Train Soldiers

January 26, 2011 -

University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Kyong Shim was practically laughed off campus when she said she wanted to study video games. But three years later Shim is getting the last laugh as various government agencies and the United States Army utilize her data and expertise for training and research on human behavioral patterns.

The Army has signed on to study and use the teamwork aspect of MMORPGs to improve communications and teamwork when tackling a common goal. Shim and other researchers from universities across the country sifted through terabytes of anonymous EverQuest II user data provided by Sony Online Entertainment to find patterns and communication characteristics. Sony provided researchers with anonymous player communications, game logs, and other game data.

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2011 Gamification Summit Sold Out

January 12, 2011 -

Tickets for the 2011 Gamification Summit have sold out according to the event's organizers. Organizers say that, for those who were not able to purchase tickets, live streaming coverage via Fora.tv will be available. Those who register to watch the live streaming coverage before January 14 will receive special $149 early bird pricing. After January 14, the rate will go up to $199. In case you've never heard of it, gamification is the use of game mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences in a non-gaming environment.

At the event, Liz Gannes of AllThingsDigital will interview Jane McGonigal, author of "Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Help Us Change the World." Liz Gannes has been covering Silicon Valley business technology since 2004 and is the founder of NewTeeVee. Additional speakers include the CMO of RecycleBank Samantha Skey, Ian Bogost of Georgia Institute of Technology and Evan Tanna of Shopkick.

A Toothbrush for Christmas

December 22, 2010 -

A study from earlier this year may motivate parents to throw a toothbrush or two into the gift queue this year alongside those much-coveted video games. According to a necro-posting from Dentalplan.com citing an April 2010 study from the University of Iowa, a tooth brush or two in the stockings or wrapped up with a video game might be a good idea.

In case you do not recall the study from earlier this year, it found that teenagers who spent a significant amount of time playing video games were more likely to develop tooth decay because of the food and drink they consumed.

Teenagers 12 - 19 years old consumed more sugary snacks and soda while playing video games, the study found. Consuming these kinds of foods in large quantities leads to tooth decay and other dental problems if a regular dental hygiene regiment is not followed.

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Federal Funds Back Illinois Disaster Preparedness Game

November 16, 2010 -

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has released a free, downloadable videogame that is designed to teach youngsters disaster preparedness.

The Day the Earth Shook poses the scenario of an earthquake occurring along the New Madrid or Wabash Valley Seismic Zones in southern Illinois.

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Save The Planet in Fate of the World

November 16, 2010 -

A new game challenges players to save the entire planet. The strategy game, Fate of the World, charges players with trying to protect the world's climate and resources while managing a growing population demanding more power, food and living space.

"Fate of the World is a scenario-based game where you run Earth for 200 years and you save it or potentially destroy it. The whole power is in your hands," said the game's British creator Gobion Rowlands.

The player takes charge of a Global Environment Organization (GEO), which has the power to make decisions that affect the entire world. Cue New World Order music.. Players can impose policies such as banning logging in the Amazon rainforest, making all Europe's public transportation run on electricity, or enforcing a one-child policy on Asia.

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New Game Teaches Emergency Preparedness

November 16, 2010 -

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has unveiled a new game for children that teaches them about emergency preparedness. The game, "The Day the Earth Shook," teaches players about items needed to build a disaster kit, shows safe and dangerous locations in a home when an earthquake hits, and other important safety tips that are useful in dangerous situations.

The game is the latest from Illinois Emergency Management Agency, which already launched an activity book for younger kids and a public service announcement for high schoolers earlier this year.


New Game Takes on Global Warming

November 4, 2010 -

UK developer Red Redemption is finishing up work on a global strategy game for the PC that will have players attempting to solve a variety of world crises, including climate change, over population and an under abundance of food.

Fate of the World is set in the year 2020, and will have players serve as the president of the Global Environmental Organization, described in the New York Times as a “fictional group with the ability to dictate economic, environmental and social policies around the world,” or, as a Red Redemption developer labeled it, “a U.N. with teeth.”

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Who is Greener, Activision or EA?

October 19, 2010 -

Newsweek has released its annual list of how the top 500 largest publicly traded companies in America rank in terms being environmentally friendly.

Electronic Arts clocked in at number 378 on this year’s Green List (it was number 381 last year), while Activision Blizzard took 391st on the list, improving from last year’s ranking of 416.

On the retail side, Office Depot grabbed the highest Green ranking, coming in at number 18 overall, followed by Wal-Mart (#51), Target (#61), Best Buy (#86), Amazon.com (#162) and GameStop (#318).

Dell came in first overall on the list, with Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson and Intel rounding out the top 5.

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Save the Children Launches Mobile Game

October 12, 2010 -

In light of a seemingly endless amount of natural catastrophes impacting the world recently, the Australian arm of Save the Children has released an iPhone/iPad/iPod app designed to highlight just how much work disaster relief efforts entail.

Earthquake Response (Apple Store link) revolves around an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hitting an island in the Atlantic Ocean. With thousands injured and dead, you, the player, have been sent to the island by Save the Children to distribute aid. 14 levels of play will have users getting people into the correct aid tents, keeping supply lines stocked, directing supply deliveries and prioritizing people’s needs.

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Tennessee Judge: Put Down the Controller and Go Kill a Turkey

September 8, 2010 -

As part of an attempt to clarify regulations relating to the upcoming Tennessee turkey hunting season, a local judge set aside some time in order to offer some advice to youngsters.

Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon, as quoted in The Chattanoogan, stated:

If young people spent more time in the woods and on the water and away from malls, video games and televisions, our juvenile delinquency and crime numbers would drop.

Moon, who used a bow and arrow to bag two turkeys last season, added, “Very few drug addicts and dangerous criminals are outdoorsmen.”

The Marion Country turkey hunting rules are actually quite confusing; make sure to click through to The Chattanoogan for a full breakdown as detailed by Judge Moon.


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KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
 

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