New, a virtual world for tweens. "The Rift" is being rebuilt and at the same time they’re saving the world, kids are invited to become part of that endeavour through all the activities they do and by earning their virtual currency. This currency gives them virtual spending power and also status, so the game encourages healthy competition among kids to earn more but also to give more.”
...the arduous process of mimicking nature in robotics helps him and other designers think up ways to build lighter weight, more elegant machines - thus working as Serious Games. Once built, the animals themselves are sort of “just for show”.
But Gamification is growing in value, says Rick Gibson...“When pitching entire, substantial games on single subjects to non-games clients like governments, serious games companies are effectively asking deeply risk-averse organisations to bet on potentially short-term hits as if they were risk-aware games publishers.
Gever Tulley has made it his mission to re-introduce the world to children: the real world as revealed through unscripted, hands-on, meaningful learning experiences.
He says, "Children today are increasingly treated like exotic animals: kept in special cages and fed a diet of pre-digested ideas, lest they skin a knee or have an original thought but there is great value in the minor scrape or bruise and the lessons that they teach." So he celebrates the plans that go awry, the spectacular failures, the magnificent successes, the unexpected discoveries, and the ideas that are just so big that they must be tried. He appreciates the empty carton, the empty lot next door, the broken clock that begs to be dismantled, and the tree with branches spaced perfectly for climbing. He treasures the really good stick and the lovely bit of string. He is thankful for duct tape, but loves the well-placed screw.
When Zynga can't think of a better name for a product, slapping a good old 'Ville' on there does the trick. PrivacyVille sounds like the company's next big game, but on the contrary. It is Zynga's way of communicating the issues of Internet privacy to its fans--through a mini game.
Charlie Todd is the founder of Improv Everywhere, producing, directing, performing, and documenting the group's work for over eight years. The group carries The group carries out pranks, which they call "missions" in public places. The stated goal of these missions is to cause scenes of "chaos and joy." Some of the group's missions use hundreds of performers, while other missions utilize only a handful of performers. Importantly, Improv Everywhere has stated that they do not identify their work with the term "flash mob" that is so often spoken about in the media.
How do we translate the fun of video games into real world change?
One gaming industry pioneer and Games for Change conference participant created a video game that he hopes will inspire real world green acts. Gaming industry pioneer Chris Swain, a professor at University of Southern California and co-founder of the university’s Electronic Arts Gaming Innovation Lab, launched Ecotopia earlier this year.
One thing that I think confuses people, or perhaps overwhelms them, are the large number of ways in which games appear to support learning. For example, James Paul Gee lists no less than 36 learning principles. Donald Clark lists ten reasons for games in learning.
And, of course, these lists are all really useful. The trouble is, I rarely remember the whole lot when I'm talking to people about games. And when I do, after listing about five, my audience's eyes tend to start glazing over ("This all sounds too good to be true!").
So a couple of years ago I produced a very simple little model. It suggests that serious games are great for learning because:
Health Games Research is a national program that that provides scientific leadership and resources to advance the research, design, and effectiveness of digital games and game technologies that promote health. It is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio and headquartered at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative projects that may lead to breakthroughs in the future of health and health care.
With the rise of serious games which make use of videogames and videogame technologies in areas beyond entertainment, there is even larger requirement for videogames to change form and integrate with platforms and systems that were previously never considered relevant to game development. As games move to more pervasive forms, spanning both entertainment and non-entertainment fields, we need to define and understand this gamut of activity and the technologies that can support them. What new models, design, and engineering patterns exist that are, and increasingly going to be essential to a world where games are everywhere? Drawing on experiences with large organizations, non-traditional videogames forms, and analysis of the commercial videogame industry this talk not only illuminates the wider gamut of videogame activity but where there are unique needs and opportunities, especially for cutting edge Web services and platforms, that until better supported are, in fact, holding back the larger ascendency of games into everyday life. This links to a Google Tech talk video.
Edward Castronova, Professor of Telecommunications at Indiana University, is a founder of scholarly online game studies and an expert on the societies of virtual worlds. He asks us to play games to discover where we truly belong.
An-shu Stephen Kinryu-Jien Hayes, founder of To-Shin Do Kasumi-An Ninja Martial Arts has spent his entire adult life in the pursuit of perfection through the study of Asian Martial Arts and spiritual traditions. Here he speaks to us of the wisdom in playing around.
“…Great to see Michael Gove actually talking about games, but sad that he still thinks their best use is carrot and stick – do the equation and get ammo to shoot the aliens – eat the brussel sprouts and then you can have the Christmas pudding. Using games for motivation is only one facet, let’s get him thinking about exploration, experimentation, team building, problem solving and independent, personalised, differentiated experiences – then we’ll really be tapping into the full potential games can offer for learning… “
Games in health care are an area of huge growth. Gynecologists for example, can use the game 'Birthplay' to practice difficult delivery scenarios on their PC. Young cancer patients can play the specially developed game 'Re-Mission' which allows them to deal with their illness better, and to recover more quickly after treatments. Iraq war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) play a game especially developed for them as part of a psychotherapy treatment plan. Van Rijswijk: "It is a question of time, but in the near future, you will go to your doctor and you will be prescribed a game, which alleviates the symptoms. This convention offers a platform for exactly these types of progressive applications."
» The trend is spurred by the spread of technology and game culture. In fact, due to their viral nature and ease of development, serious games are propagating. They are now on a trajectory to become a mainstream genre of gaming applications, in both the commercial and noncommercial spheres.
Driving the game
A number of trends are converging to drive the serious games movement, including:
Together, Marc and Sara Schiller are Wooster Collective: a contemporary art and street art collective. Their mission is to discover and document authentic art. A dialogue between city, artist, viewers...street art reactivates dormant locations, adding creativity back into the city when it was lost.
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