In the latest issue of the science journal Nature two neuroscientists say that their colleagues should work with game developers to help create games that can be used to boost brain function and improve well-being. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester and Richard J.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in cooperation with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and education technology company EverFi have announced a new online educational program for Los Angeles public high schools. Called "The ESA Digital Living Project, the new program will be powered by EverFi's education technology. The goal is to help educate students in L.A. using technology, instructional designs, simulations, and other forms of complimentary media.
Organizers of the annual National STEM Video Game Challenge - Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media announced today that student submissions of original video games and game designs is now opened at www.stemchallenge.org. In its third year, the annual challenge hopes to inspire and motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by tapping into students’ enthusiasm for playing and making video games.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has launched a new program called the College Game Competition. Open to college students earning an education at colleges and universities with computer and video game development programs, the College Game Competition charges students and colleges to work together to submit a game that represents their school. Competing schools submit story details and content assets from their playable video game, which will then be judged by a specially selected panel of "game industry veterans and media professionals."
Emergency room simulation On Call has won "Best in Show" at the Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase at the 2013 SSIH International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, Florida. The game was developed jointly by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Becker College, and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute.
EA, Maxis and the GlassLab announced an initiative this week to modify the new SimCity game to promote STEM education. EA says that the program is designed to attract students to "high-wage jobs in research, technology and game development." A new website dedicated to educators who want to use SimCity in their classrooms launched at SimCityEDU.org to get things started. EA says that it will serve as an online resource and community for teachers to create and share lesson plans that use the game as a centerpiece.
The organizers of the Boston Festival of Indie Games have announced that September 14 will be the magical date for this year's event to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge, Ma. The event, which is free and open to the general public, is a celebration of the very best indie games. The second annual event is presented and facilitated by MIT Game Lab and Boston Indies.
A recent profile of Mike Langlois, a clinical social worker in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of the eBook "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy" by Psychotherapy Networker (part of its Clinician's Digest III), makes the case for psychologists and mental health professionals to learn more about video games and even play them if they can.
UK-based film studio Pinewood is working towards launching a new school that teaches students about the creation and production of video games, according to Develop.
Ball State University (in Muncie, Indiana) professor Ronald Morris and computer science professor Paul Gestwicki have teamed up with graduate students to create a Unity-based game that teaches fourth grade students about the Underground Railroad (thanks to Polygon). The game is called The Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley River and puts students in the shoes of a runaway slave who must make his or her way to Canada where they can live a free life.
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.
Applications for the scholarships to be awarded by the EMA Scholarship Foundation are due by March 1, 2013, the Entertainment Merchants Association announced this week. These academic scholarships will be awarded to employees of EMA-member companies and their immediate family members who plan on "undertaking undergraduate and graduate study on a full-time basis." Those selected for the scholarships will receive up to $6,000 total, which will be issued on an annual basis. More details below:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has weighed in on the rush to place the blame on video games as a cause for the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. ACLU Legislative Counsel Gabe Rottman wrote on the group's web site that rushing to blame violent video games will lead to "the worst facts, and they will make the worst laws if we let them."
Game developer Brenda Romero has been named the first "game designer in residence" at UC Santa Cruz. Mrs. Romero joins the UCSC's Center for Games and Playable Media to teach courses and work with students, faculty, and researchers on all things related to video game design. Mrs.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media have revealed the participating sponsors and partners for the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge. For the third year, the AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will once again serve as key sponsors for the Challenge. New partners include the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Hive NYC Learning Network.
On December 29 The Pixel Academy will set up shop in the ArtsCetera on 212 Smith Street in Brooklyn to create a 21st century digital media lab for kids. Open house ALL DAY (10am-8pm) - Instructors will be teaching classes on a range of creative technologies and answering questions about Pixel Academy and their educational programs.
BerryBots 1.0.0 has been released for Raspberry Pi, Linux, and Mac OS X - with a Windows version "coming soon." Developed by Patrick Cupka (who some of you may remember from the Quake community as the sole proprietor of the popular web site The Void), BerryBots is described as a game designed primarily for the Raspberry Pi that teaches players the basics of programming. The game caters to novice programmers by letting them program a ship that moves around a simple stage, sees gameplay events, and shoots at other ships.
A new video game that will be highlighted at the Games for Change conference hosted by RMIT in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday hopes to raise awareness about refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Refugees often take dangerous journeys on the open seas to reach the shores of friendly democracies. The game puts players in the shoes of these "boat people" who are trying to make their way to places like Australia to find safe haven and the kind of freedom and opportunities not available to them in their native lands.
A British psychologist thinks that using video games can be a very effective tool in helping to treat Alzheimer's. Dr. John Harrison, a psychologist in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College, London shared his theories on the topic at the Games for Health Europe conference in Amsterdam this week, according to this Wall Street Journal report.
The two-day conference, The Law of Digital Games kicks off today at the Seaport Boston Hotel in Boston, MA. The event explores the intersection of video gaming and the law and how each can have an impact on the other in both positive and negative ways. Topics include everything from free-to-play games and hiring and agent to user privacy and protections.
The University of Southern California will officially launch Mission: Admission Oct. 29 on Facebook. The free Facebook game is designed to help high school students in underserved communities learn the process of applying for college and financial aid in a fun and engaging way.
Rice University in Houston, Texas is using Bethesda's hit role-playing game Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim to help teach an English course about Scandinavian fantasy worlds. The course is called "Scandanavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim" and hopes to teach students about fantasy as a psychological concept and how it is important in gaming culture. Students will play certain quests within the game, read selections from Norse and Icelandic sagas and identify parallels between literature and the game.
The state of Minnesota apparently doesn't like free online education that could benefit its citizens. The state has decided to tell California-based online education startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents without first getting permission from the state and paying a registration fee. Coursera was founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, and partners with top universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants access to them.
A new study by the Sleep Laboratory at Flinders University (a public university in Adelaide, South Australia) finds that teens who play video games for long periods of time have trouble getting a good night's sleep. The study conducted by masters student Daniel King (supervised by child sleep psychologist Dr.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor's online educational video game site iCivics has partnered with educational technology company EverFi to create a new initiative called Commons – Digital Town Square. Available for free to all K-12 schools, Commons – Digital Town Square hopes to provide educational gaming with social components, testing, simulation-based gameplay, animations and pre- and post-assessments for students.
Jennifer Pahlka, founder and Executive Director of Code for America ("the Peace Corps. for geeks") sent us some more information on the October 24th event scheduled to take place in New York City and some details on why they planned the vent in the first place. In case you are not familiar with Code for America, they are a group of web designers, programmers and other passionate geeks that work with local governments to create innovative solutions using all kinds of technology - including video games.
New research sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (also known as CARDI) suggest that using video games can help the elderly improve their balance and avoid falls that are often devastating and debilitating.