ESA Announces E3 College Game Competition Finalists

May 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association has announced the five finalists for the E3 College Game Competition, a contest that recognizes the best college-level talent in game development. Finalists schools include Lawrence Technology University, Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of Denver, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Utah.

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ESA Honors L.A. Students Who Completed The 'Digital Living Project'

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Research: Most Countries Get a 'C' Grade When it Comes to Physical Activity in Children

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Out of 15 countries assessed in a new study, children in Scotland were at the bottom of the rankings when it came to physical activity and at the top of rankings for spending too much time on screen-based leisure activities including watching TV and gaming.

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UK Education Expert Thinks Games Like 'Angry Birds' Have a Place in the Classroom

May 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Game CoLab and the City of Phoenix Team Up for Studio Incubator Program

April 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Game CoLab, a community advocate for video game developers in Arizona, has launched a new game studio incubator program established with the help of an economic development grant from the City of Phoenix. The incubator program will run through 2014, with Game CoLab bringing in four teams for the first year of the program.

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PSA: Oculus CTO John Carmack Talk at SMU on April 25

April 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

"Twenty Years after Doom: John Carmack on the Future of Engineering Virtual Worlds," a talk featuring former id Software co-founder and Oculus CTO John Carmack, will take place at Southern Methodist University's Lyle School of Engineering on April 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM (Caruth Hall Ground Auditorium) in Dallas Texas.

Here's more about the talk from organizers:

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Research: Children Exposed to Violent Games Retain Aggressive Thoughts and Behavior

April 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research coming out of Iowa State University (can you guess where this is going to go?) suggests that children who play violent video games will have more aggressive behavior and keep aggressive thoughts regardless of age, gender or parental involvement.

The research results are based on a three-year longitudinal panel study that surveyed (on an annual basis) 3,034 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore. The study notes that the beginning of the survey period participants were in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades.

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Research: The Impact of Video Games on Teen School Grades is Almost Negligible

April 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Using worldwide scholastic results, researchers at Flinders University in South Australia have come to the conclusion that video games do not have a negative impact on the academic performance of adolescents.

Researchers analyzed data from than 192,000 students in 22 countries and found that academic performance and concentration among teenagers were not impacted by video game play.

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Research: Tailored Video Games Can Help Children Get Better Grades

April 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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GameStop Partners With IBM, Texas A&M University

April 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GameStop announced today that it has entered into a partnership with researchers from the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and IBM.

IBM will provide the video games retailer with its BlueMix could platform, which will allow GameStop to "incorporate new mobile and cloud apps with previously existing systems, creating an enhanced atmosphere for customer interaction online and in-store."

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Research: Games Media Criticism of Violent Video Games Decreased as Technology Improved

April 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study conducted by Greg Perreault, a doctoral student at the MU School of Journalism, concludes that, as technology has advanced, the criticism of violence in video games by the media has decreased.

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Deadline Looms for the ESA's Second Annual E3 College Game Competition

April 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association announced that its second annual E3 College Game Competition will take place in June and that the deadline for submissions is fast approaching. The competition recognizes the top game design talent from academic institutions throughout the United States.

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Researchers Disagree on New Study Correlating Violent Games With Aggressive Behavior in Children

March 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from Craig Anderson, a psychologist and professor at Iowa State University who is known for his anti-game research is making the rounds this week, but it is not going unchallenged. Anderson's latest research suggests that children who play violent video games "may experience" an increase in aggressive thoughts, which "could" lead to aggressive behavior.

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'Play to Cure: Genes in Space' Players Help Analyze Six Months of Cancer Data

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Cancer Research UK's smartphone app Play to Cure: Genes in Space has already seen its players analyze at least six months worth of DNA data for cancer research, the organization announced today. That's pretty impressive when you consider that the app was released on February 4 of this year.

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Simulation Game Aims to Take the Drama Out of Healthcare

March 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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PSA: Linux Foundation Plans 'Introduction to Linux Course' For Free This Summer

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Linux Foundation has announced that it will work with non-profit online learning site edX to provide an "Introduction to Linux" course free and open to all this summer. edX is governed by Harvard and MIT. This introductory class normally costs $2,400 and will be the first from the Linux Foundation to run as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). There will also be no limit to enrollment. The course requires no prerequisites and will take between 40 - 60 hours to complete.

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AbleGamers and The University of Toronto Team Up For First Canadian Accessibility Arcade

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

AbleGamers Founder Mark Barlet announced during his SXSW speech this weekend that the first Canadian Game Accessibility Lab (or AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade) will be hosted by the University of Toronto. The arcade will include the "most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games," according to AbleGamers. It will be hosted by the Semaphore Research Cluster, which is part of the iSchool (Faculty of Information), on a permanent basis.

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MassDiGI Game Challenge Winners Announced

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute announced that Boston-based independent educational game development studio Little Worlds Interactive has won the overall Grand Prize and the Serious Game Prototype category awards in its third annual MassDiGI Game Challenge for The Counting Kingdom. The Counting Kingdom encourages players ages 7+ to practice their math skills in a playful and engaging way. The Counting Kingdom has the distinct honor of being the first serious or educational game to win the MassDiGI Game Challenge Grand Prize.

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Abertay University Opens 'Playstation Lab'

February 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new teaching lab has opened at Abertay University in Dundee (Scotland). The new lab represents the largest in Europe and offers 30 new PlayStation Vita development kits, and stock of PS3 and PS4 dev kits. Students attending the lab have access to all of the hardware. The University has dubbed it the "Playstation lab." The development kits were given to the university as part of a partnership with PlayStation First, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Academic Development Program.

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UMass Studies The Positive Effects of Casual Games

February 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research coming out of the University of Massachusetts’ psychology department reveals that casual game players get some cognitive benefits from playing games on a regular basis.

"Most of what we hear about video games concerns their detrimental effects on players. This study shows that people perceive many positive effects, even though the games can be addictive," said UMass professor Susan Whitbourne, who conducted the study along with undergraduates Stacy Ellenberg and Kyoko Akimoto.

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SOE Accepting Applications for 2014 G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Online Entertainment announced today that it is now accepting applications and submissions for its 2014 Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. Through the G.I.R.L. scholarship program, SOE awards one winner with a $10,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses at the winner's college or university.

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Video Game Used to Research 'Risky Behavior'

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New research (where video games were the central component in helping researchers formulate data on risky behavior) finds that people who engage in behavior that is risky like unprotected sex or drug abuse do so because that have little or no form of impulse control. Russell Poldrack, director of the University of Texas, Austin's Imaging Research Center, and his colleagues at the university analyzed data from 108 subjects who were analyzed using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner while playing a video game that simulated risk-taking.

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Ubisoft Reveals Graduate Program

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Ubisoft this week revealed a new graduate program that aims to help a small number of graduate students get into the video games industry every year. The program's continuation is clearly dependent on how the first two years go and its effectiveness in picking and training candidates that will stay in the industry long-term.

Beginning in September of this year, Ubisoft will select two dozen applicants to receive paid graduate positions at its various studios around the world complete with salaries and relocation costs paid.

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'Stroke Hero' Teaches Children About The Importance of Calling 9-11

January 31, 2014 - James Fudge

After playing an educational video game for just 15 minutes children understood what do if someone was having a stroke, according to new research reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Researchers tested 210 9- and 10-year-old "low-income children" from the Bronx, New York, on whether they could identify a stroke and knew to call 9-1-1 if they saw someone having one. Researchers then tested the children again after they played a stroke education video game called Stroke Hero.

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Yale University's Play2Prevent Lab Working on Game About HIV Awareness

January 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Yale University's Play2Prevent lab is using a grant from the Women’s Health Research at the Yale Pilot Program to create a game that teaches about effective ways to reduce HIV infections among young African American women. The team will spend this year working with groups of black teens and 20-year-olds to design a game that will be "relevant, entertaining and a model for future public health projects."

Research: Dance Games Can Help Combat Urinary Incontinence

January 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Video games - particularly those that promote activities such as dancing (think Dance, Dance Revolution, or any Zumba game) can help women of all ages fight against incontinence, according to new research coming out of Canada and Switzerland. According to a study published in Neurology and Urodynamics conducted by Canadian and Swiss researchers, women suffering from urinary incontinence that added a regular regimen of dance exercises (using popular interactive video games) saw an improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength.

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Pfizer Running Clinical Trials Using Akili Interactive Labs Game

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is using video games created by Akili Interactive Labs in a clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients to see if it can help detect the early signs of the disease. Pfizer plans to conduct a clinical trial with 100 elderly participants with and without "the presence of amyloid in their brains, based on Positron Emission Tomography imaging," according to a company statement.

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Teen Concussion Patients Should Lay Off Homework, Texting, and Video Games

January 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Teens who play high school sports like football that sustain a concussion should avoid texting, homework, and playing video games, according to new research coming out of Boston Children's Hospital.

Researchers say that teen athletes that have suffered a concussion while playing a sport recovered faster when they practiced "cognitive rest."

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ESA Names LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows

January 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation have announced the selection of the ESA Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellows. The organizations have jointly selected twenty minority youths to each receive a grant to further their development of video games designed to solve social problems within their communities.

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Research: Gaming, Physical Activity Stimulates The Brain in Similar Ways

December 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study by neuroscience student Brendan Lehman at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) has found that video games activate parts of the brain that are usually activated through physical activity. Lehman, who says he has been playing video games since he was a "wee child," hopes his research will counter the belief that playing video games can "rot a person's brain."

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