"Playing education games cooperatively with others can motivate students to learn according to a new study from New York University. A study New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development found that when students played a math game collaboratively with another student it motivated them to learn even more, compared to students who played the game alone. The study also found that students' interest and enjoyment of the game increased when playing with another student."
"ARIS (Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling) is an open-source platform that enables users to create location-based mobile games and interactive stories. With mobile devices, GPS technology, or QR codes, ARIS players can navigate in augmented reality worlds where virtual characters and objects are linked to physical places and facilitate gaming and learning activities. Its game editor allows educators to create interactive learning activities on various topics and is useful for students to learn basic game design concepts such as goals, rules, and challenges."
"While filming a documentary about divisive oil refinery ventures in the subzero cold of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the director David Dufresne said he wasn’t considering only pollution in that Canadian boomtown or the vast tar sands beneath its frozen ground. He was also thinking deeply about technology, about making a new kind of hybrid media, a docugame.
"Interactive documentaries have been widely available since the CD-ROM boom of the 1990s. Yet while they have become a genre unto themselves, few have included a game component. With “Fort McMoney,” a free program released online this week, Mr. Dufresne has tried to change that."
"A serious game that will be effective should exemplify these five “best practices” and avoid the corresponding design errors consistently throughout the game. Each of the “best practices” leads to a question you can ask the supplier. If you get promising answers, it’s important to pilot test the game on actual trainees (members of your target constituency) within your organization, to gather data on these principles from your context. Expert reviewers will comment on the overall realism (fidelity) of the game, but remember that they cannot comment on how suited to your trainees the challenge level and feedback are."
"Past/Present is an immersive computer game designed to impart decision-making and critical thinking skills in the study of American history. The game tells the story of four days in the life of a fictional mill town in 1906. Players can choose to be either an immigrant female mill-worker or a native-born male mill manager. Both characters must deal with labor strife as well as earn money to support their families."
"Amit Dodani, a 15-year-old from Los Angeles, CA, talks about 'My Name My Story'--his youth-run leadership program to inspire the next generation of leaders."
"I encourage young people like myself to find their passion and run with it! Everyone's talents can be used for the greater good. For an athlete, it may be teaching disabled children how to play their sport. For a musician, it may be holding a charity concert to raise money for cancer. For a scientist, it may be working with corporations on finding new developments in medicine that can cure millions. For a writer, it may be writing inspirational poetry that moves people in healthy directions. For me, it is public speaking. I recently realized my words really can make a difference."
Game-based learning scholar Kurt Squire explores how leveraging young people's interest in gaming could encourage greater youth community involvement and deeper connections to civic and political life.
"Control, compounded by a first-person perspective, may be the key to the first-person shooter’s enduring appeal. A fundamental component of our happiness is a sense of control over our lives. It is, in fact, “a biological imperative for survival,” according to a recent review of animal, clinical, and neuroimaging evidence. The more in control we think we are, the better we feel; the more that control is taken away, the emotionally worse off we become. In extreme cases, a loss of control can lead to a condition known as learned helplessness, in which a person becomes helpless to influence his own environment. And our sense of agency, it turns out, is often related quite closely to our motor actions: Do our movements cause a desired change in the environment? If they do, we feel quite satisfied with ourselves and with our personal effectiveness. First-person shooters put our ability to control the environment, and our perception of our effectiveness, at the forefront of play.
"The other way in which people combat the alienation that Twenge has identified is through increased social interaction. And gamers, over and over, claim that social interaction is one of their strongest motivations to play. That motivation even holds for the most dedicated gamers—those who are nearing the professional end of the spectrum. Far from isolating us in a virtual world of violence and gore, first-person shooters can create a sense of community and solidarity that some people may be unable to find in their day-to-day lives—and a sense of effectiveness and control that may, in turn, spill over into non-virtual life. In 2009, the psychologist Leonard Reinecke discovered that video games were a surprisingly effective way to combat stress, fatigue, and depression—this proved true for many of the same titles that critics once worried would be isolating, and would negative impact on individual well-being and on society as a whole. In other words, the success of Doom and the games that have followed in its footsteps haven’t sentenced us to a world of violence. On the contrary: for all of their virtual gore, they may, ironically, hold one possible road map for a happier, more fulfilling and more engaged way of life."
"New research from the Netherlands finds that young people who play games that require fast-paced strategic thinking and planning may improve learning, health and social skills, and strengthen cognitive abilities including problem solving, reasoning, memory and perception. Researchers say that these benefits can occur even when a game contains violent content. The research from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands was recently published in the journal, American Psychologist."
"The game was developed by GlassLab, a game studio within the Institute of Play that received $10.3 million from the Gates Foundation and MacArthur Foundation in June 2012. SimCityEDU is the first of six games that GlassLab will develop to “leverage digital games as powerful, data-rich learning and formative assessment environments,” and was built in partnership with Electronic Arts, Educational Testing Service, Pearson, and the Entertainment Software Association."
"On the 16th November 2013, I delivered a presentation at a Drinkaware conference designed to answer the question ‘Can Technology Drive Behaviour Change?’. What follows is a transcription of the talk along with the images of the slides at appropriate points."
The Beginner's Guide to Gamification is a Gamification Video Series created by Regular Stanford Lecturer and creator of the gamification framework Octalysis
by Yukai Chou
"I’ve seen quite a few Gamification Video Courses online these days, but all the ones I have seen are extremely boring AND they lack in deepness. A few of them spread the net very wide and people understand gamification better but not how to apply it.
"This is my attempt (and hobby) of making an entertainment video lecturer course, while packing in some advanced gamification techniques, concepts, and examples. The reason why I call it the “Beginner’s Guide” to Gamification, even though it is more advanced than many “expert certification” courses, is because I believe we are all still students in this vast field of Gamification. The industry is just at its beginning, and 10 years later, we would be amazed about how little we knew right now. My goal is to be the pioneer of beginner’s and share all the stuff I have learned!"
"It’s surprisingly difficult to build the right simulation components of a serious game, and it’s surprisingly easy to get it wrong (Foshay 2006). Look for these common serious game design errors, and learn to recognize designs that avoid them:"
"Give your children a serious case of the giggles when you introduce them to a zany zebra, shy sheep and jolly giraffe. Your children will discover these emotions and more by dressing up, feeding, sharing toys and interacting with their new-found digital friends using over 100 uniquely themed props in this endless play funhouse."
"Real Lives is a simulation game developed by Bob Runyan and Ashoka Fellow Parag Mankeekar that allows players to inhabit the lives of individuals around the world. This game enables us to perceive the world through the eyes of another person within a context that is considerably different from our own and to undergo experiences that this individual is likely to have within his or her social setting, based on statistically accurate realities and events.
"Through the different characters and simulations that comprise Real Lives, players can experience what life could be like for a person living in another country in a wide variety of areas including education, employment, marriage, family, diseases, and natural disasters. As the game progresses, the character ages, and the game uses static graphics to convey information about the life of a character. Not only does the software use real-world data to determine the probability of events in the lives of the various characters, but all information regarding the country’s history, culture, and socio-economic conditions is also gathered from reliable Internet sources, to which links are provided within the game.
"Real Lives strives to foster and hone “the cognitive, affective, and communicative components of global empathy.” Through the simulations and the information provided, players are encouraged to make decisions or act instinctively and are also able to see what the consequences of such actions or decisions might be."
"Much has been discussed about computer games and their impact on young people. A lot of the media has focused how games are turning our young people into violent hooligans. But more recently, there has been shift in opinions. While there isn’t a universal cry of “games are good”, there is a general acceptance that games might have a place in education.
"Michael Gove seems to have taken notice, “Games and interactive software can help pupils acquire complicated skills and rigorous knowledge in an engaging and enjoyable way … Britain has an incredibly strong games industry, with vast potential to engage with education both in this country and all over the world. We’re already seeing these technologies being used in imaginative ways.”
"Beyond the buzz, what are the merits to the gamification of education? GBL can achieve some learning outcomes not easily achievable with traditional teaching approaches. Simulations, in particular, can support Learn by Doing and Learn by Being.Learn by Doing is focused on skills, actions, activity, engagement, team working and so on. Learn by Being is focused on knowledge such as understanding the environment, values, attitudes, society, diversity, culture and so on."