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.


Pic via

15 comments

Greenpeace Invades Ship Simulator Extremes

August 24, 2010 -

Game developer VSTEP is putting a special Greenpeace campaign in its upcoming ship simulation game, Ship Simulator Extremes. The Greenpeace campaign is what the company calls "one of three realistic campaigns" that will be featured in the game when it is released later this month.

The campaign lets players sail Greenpeace vessels like the Esperanza to confront various anti-environmental forces and evildoers including polluters who dump oil and illegal toxic waste into the ocean, whale hunting vessels and more. Players will also be able to take control of the Rainbow Warrior III a full year before its actual completion as well. Finally, the game will feature "nine historical Greenpeace missions" complete with full motion documentary footage and interviews with Greenpeace Captain Pete Wilcox as a reward.

For a sneak peek of the Greenpeace part of the game, check out this video. Ship Simulator Extremes will be released on August 27 at retail and through various digital distribution channels.

6 comments

Try Your Hand at Top Killling BP Spill

August 3, 2010 -

As new reports indicate that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the hands of BP is now the largest “accidental” release of oil into water in history, South Pawlitico has released a fun (and admittedly simple) web-based game allowing players to try their own hand at plugging the broken wellhead.

Gulf of Mexicoil lets users attempt to utilize duct tape, old tires, the kitchen sink and crazy glue to stop the spewing, all while fighting ocean currents.

The worst oil spill of all time was intentional, according to CNN, and took place during the Gulf War when Iraqi army personnel released 240 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf. A Washington Post story indicates that the Deepwater Horizon disaster resulted in 205.8 million gallons (or 4.9 million barrels) of oil spilled.

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Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
Matthew Wilson@pm I doubt it. Google seems to be distancing themselves from G+07/25/2014 - 9:31pm
Papa MidnightGoogle+ Integration is coming to Twitch!07/25/2014 - 8:41pm
MaskedPixelanteThis whole Twitch thing just reeks of Google saying "You thought you could get away from us and our policies. That's adorable."07/25/2014 - 2:52pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - hopefully that's the case, but I wont hold my breath for it to happen.07/25/2014 - 1:08pm
SleakerUpdate on crytek situation is a bit ambiguous, but I'm glad they finally said something: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-07-25-crytek-addresses-financial-situation07/25/2014 - 1:07pm
E. Zachary KnightMan Atlas, Why do you not want me to have any money? Why? http://www.atlus.com/tears2/07/25/2014 - 12:06pm
Matthew WilsonI agree with that07/25/2014 - 10:45am
james_fudgeI think Twitch will have more of an impact on how YouTube/Google Plus work than the other way around.07/25/2014 - 10:22am
IanCWelp, twitch is going to suck now. Thanks google.07/25/2014 - 6:30am
Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
 

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