Friday, April 30, 2010

Serious Games Interactive Websites Make Over


Serious Games Company with strong focus on integrating game and learning experiences



Via: Serious Games Interactive Blog - SGI Website Make Over

The Serious Games Interactive website has undergone a makeover and is now live. Seriousgames.dk aims to inform customers and other people with an interest in game-based learning solutions about their experience and vision for the segment.

The new website features extended company information and project examples, including streaming game-play videos related to former client projects such as LEGO, The National Museum and Novo Nordisk.

While the former website focused on production projects - the Global Conflicts series and the Playing History series - SGI has now launched dedicated sites for each one of them: the Global Conflicts Portal and the Playing History website.


The new corporate website welcomes visitors with a clean visual look and navigation. The goal is to make it easier for visitors to access information about the four areas of expertise: 1. corporate education 2. academic education 3. cultural education and 4. market education. What ties all these areas together is the strong focus on integrating game and learning experiences.

About Serious Games Interactive (SGI)

Serious Games Interactive is an award-winning research-based game company located in Copenhagen, the bustling center of education, games and innovation in the Nordic countries.

Since its start in 2006, SGI has set a new standard for what can be expected from games used for serious purposes in learning & education, marketing and HR processes.

SGI focus is neither on technology nor on ideas, but on the user experience: "Why not use people inherent fascination with games for purposes beyond pure entertainment?" is SGI's major core value.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MindQuilt: Serious Games For Big Enterprise Knowledge Sharing


Serious Games mechanics encouraging employees to share knowledge


Via: MindQuilt

MindQuilt is a Question & Expert matchmaking system with gaming dinamics to optimize engagement. But what does that really mean? Watch the video and have a taste of it.


MindQuilt is currently in private beta. You can sign-up for a free trial at http://mindquilt.com/.

In the meantime you can follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter

YDreams New Framework For Serious Games In Public Spaces


Serious Games in public spaces update

YDreams" largest project to date, "El Faro" Visitors Center, is the gateway to Santander Group's financial complex on the outskirts of Madrid. The center is a creative mix of advanced robotics, hi-res LED paneled columns and interactive interface design that offer visitors memorable forms of exploring the group's history and global presence.

Via: YDreams - YDreams Development Platform Now Supports 3d Video Cameras

YDreams has been working on Natural User Interfaces (NUI) for about 9 years. They have successfully deployed hundreds of applications, which can now be found in museums, stores, events venues and movie theaters.

In the beginning, each new application was a copy-paste of source from the previous projects plus the customization code and a few more features – therefore, maintenance was a nightmare.

From very early on, they felt the need to have a reusable development framework that would take less time developing the applications, make them more robust and leave them time to keep innovating.

The resulting framework allows us them share their knowledge across the entire development process. As they have great professionals who cannot work on every project, their knowledge is added to the framework to be used by others, including multi-threading, image processing, tracking, 3D real-time graphics and physics, artificial intelligence, Free Frame plugins, Flash integration into 3D graphics, USB, FireWire and IP (Ethernet) video cameras, Microsoft Surface support, etc.

The platform is used in almost every interactive application and was recently was on the robots they created for Santander. The platform allowed YDreams to have a 3D simulation of their behaviors even before they had the physical robots. The exact same code that was used in the simulator is now running in the robots themselves.


Knee-high autonomous robots greet and guide visitors to their destination in the center

YDreams has recently partnered with Canesta and added support for their depth-sensing video cameras. YDreams already had interactive applications combining real and virtual in real-time. Now it is also registered in 3D, fully complying with the Augmented Reality definition by Azuma.

This is just one more feature added to many others in the framework. Creating the demo was very simple. Its objective was to show the capabilities of the camera and also perform the first usability tests. YDreams wanted to know how users would perceive the “invisible” 3D objects and what type of interactions are possible. It has been a big success with all the users.

Visit YDreams booth at ARE2010*to try this demo yourself and get more details on their framework.

*Augmented Reality Event (ARE) is the first global event dedicated to advancing the business of augmented reality. The inaugural event will be held at Santa Clara Convention Center, June 2-3, 2010.

Serious Metrics For Online Games


Online Gaming Statistics

Online Gaming Statistics

Via: Online MBA - Online Gaming Stats

Online MBA has recently posted the above infographic - respective sources as constant on the image footnotes.

Serious Games Improving Diabetes Self-Management Update


Diabetic Children Get a Serious Game and Fighting Chance


On my prior post G4H 2008: Serious Games For Improving Diabetes Self-Management, I had already addressed two different approaches for diabetes self-management.

Now, pharmaceutical company Bayer has announced the release of DIDGET, a blood glucose monitoring system that connects with Nintendo DS systems and rewards consistent testing with unlockable minigames.

DIDGET is a fully functional blood glucose monitor, and does not require a Nintendo DS to operate. The device reads and records blood sugar concentration levels determined by Bayer's prescription CONTOUR test strips.

Bayer's DIDGET meter is a blood glucose meter that connects directly to Nintendo DS(TM) and DS Lite gaming systems to help kids manage a lifelong disease by rewarding them for building consistent testing habits and meeting personalized blood glucose target ranges.
For more information, visit http://www.bayerdidget.com/
When connected to the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot on Nintendo DS and DS Lite systems, DIDGET converts blood glucose test results into reward points.

Players can redeem these points to unlock new levels, minigames, and items in Knock 'Em Downs: World's Fair, a Nintendo DS adventure game bundled with the DIDGET device.

DIDGET additionally features an online community with score leaderboards, web games, and player profile pages that can be customized by redeeming DIDGET reward points.

An online demonstration is available at Bayer's website.

Here is the full PRESS RELEASE - SOURCE Bayer Diabetes Care

Bayer Diabetes Care Introduces DIDGET In the US
Monday, April 26, 2010

Transforms Kids' Diabetes Experience by Linking Play with Purpose


TARRYTOWN, N.Y., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer Diabetes Care today announced the introduction of the DIDGET((TM)) blood glucose monitoring system in the United States. The DIDGET meter is unique because it is the only blood glucose meter that connects directly to Nintendo DS(TM) and DS Lite gaming systems to help kids manage a lifelong disease by rewarding them for building consistent testing habits and meeting personalized blood glucose target ranges. Bayer's DIDGET meter is now available for purchase in the U.S. through CVS.com, Drugstore.com and Walgreens.com.
 
Bayer's DIDGET meter links play with purpose for children with diabetes by tapping into kids' existing passion for handheld gaming. The DIDGET meter positively reinforces consistent blood glucose testing habits by awarding points that kids can use to unlock new game levels and customize their gaming experience.
 
"As the first meter truly designed with kids in mind, the DIDGET meter can transform a child's blood sugar testing experience from something they have to do into something they want to do," said Dr. Larry Deeb, pediatric endocrinologist and medical director for the Diabetes Center at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Florida and a paid consultant for Bayer. "Regular blood sugar testing is critical for diabetes management and one of the biggest challenges facing parents of kids with diabetes is motivating their kids to develop good testing habits. Bayer's DIDGET meter adds an element of fun and rewards to the routine of testing and, by doing so, helps ease that parent/child tension that testing often creates," he added.
 
Bayer's DIDGET meter is intended for use by kids ages 4-14 and grows with the child's ability to manage their diabetes, offering two testing levels, Basic and Advanced. It comes with Knock 'Em Downs(TM): World's Fair that includes a full length adventure game and mini game arcade. The DIDGET meter will connect to Bayer's DIDGET(TM) World (www.bayerdidget.com), a password-protected Web community that is coming soon, where kids can spend points that they earn from consistent monitoring practices and create their own page.
 
The DIDGET meter is based on Bayer's trusted CONTOUR(® )system and uses the same technology and CONTOUR test strips, providing the same easy accuracy, No Coding(TM) technology, no interference with maltose, galactose and oxygen and automatic correction for hematocrit and many common interfering substances (e.g., acetaminophen, ascorbic acid). CONTOUR test strips also feature under fill detection and automatic control solution marking as well as a 5-second test time and small (0.6 mL) sample size.
 
Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers, who is a paid spokesperson and an actual user of Bayer's CONTOUR USB meter said, "I know first hand how important it is for kids to test their blood sugar regularly. Using Bayer's DIDGET meter is a cool and fun way for kids to do that. The DIDGET meter uses the same test strips as the CONTOUR meter, the strips I rely on every day."
 
Bayer's DIDGET meter recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the blood glucose meter is now available for a suggested retail value of $74.99 through leading online pharmacies. Nintendo DS and DS Lite gaming systems are sold separately and are not required or needed to use the DIDGET meter. Bayer's DIDGET World Web Community is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3.0, 3.5, 3.6. For more information, visit http://www.bayerdidget.com./
 
Building on more than 40 years of experience since Bayer pioneered the first portable blood glucose meter, the company recently introduced CONTOUR USB, the first blood glucose monitor in the U.S. that connects directly to a PC or MAC - providing users with instant access to information and trends about their blood sugar levels. Bayer innovated the measurement of A1C (glycated hemoglobin) and was the first to offer a suite of blood glucose monitors with No Coding(TM) technology and no interference from maltose and galactose.

About Diabetes

An estimated 186,300(1) young people under the age of 20 in the U.S. have diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In persons with type 1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin, and therefore people with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin to manage their life long disease. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults, although increasingly, children are being diagnosed with this disease(2).Type 2 is associated with obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity(3). In people with type 2 diabetes, the body doesn't make enough insulin, or it doesn't use the insulin it does make very well. There are many therapies available, including insulin, for people with type 2 diabetes. All people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes must carefully balance food, medications and activity level to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible in order to avoid long term complications of diabetes.

About Bayer Diabetes Care

Bayer Diabetes Care is a worldwide leader in diabetes care, supporting customers in 100 countries and, for more than 40 years, has led the way in diabetes care product innovation. Today, Bayer Diabetes Care offers an unparalleled choice in diabetes management systems and comprehensive support including education, tools and resources designed to simplify life with diabetes. Bayer Diabetes Care is a business of the Bayer HealthCare LLC, Medical Care Division and has its global headquarters located in Tarrytown, New York. http://www.simplewins.com./

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of healthcare, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Find more information at http://www.bayerhealthcare.com/.










Sunday, April 25, 2010

Presentation: Bringing Serious Games Into The Classroom


Ollie Bray Superb Presentation at Games Based Learning Conference 2010



Ollie Bray is National Adviser on Learning and Technology Futures at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS). LTS is the education agency responsible for curriculum development in Scotland.

Ollie Bray speaks to global audiences on creativity and innovation in education. He has been a school leader, head of department and is an award winning teacher. His current interests include social media in schools, computer games in education, mobile technologies, school design, outdoor learning and 21st century school leadership.


On the 29th and 30th March he was down in London at the second international Games Based Learning Conference organized by Graham Brown-Martin and his team at Learning Without Frontiers, where he chaired the Learning with Games session on the Tuesday morning and also delivered the opening keynote.

Here are the presentation slides:
 The session was recorded so you can see what he had to say below:




About the Consolarium - Bringing Computer Games Into The Classroom

“If you want to engage the learners then you need to engage the teachers first”

The vibrant and dynamic world of computer games is an area of development that Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) is committed to exploring, promoting and developing.

The Consolarium is the Scottish Centre for Games and Learning, established by LTS to explore the world of computer games and how they can impact on teaching and learning in Scottish schools.

This is a centre in their Dundee office where they aim to:

• explore the range of games technologies available and, in doing so, inform and influence new curriculum developments both in theory and in practice
• provide a place where teachers and others involved in education are given hands-on access to these resources
• provide an opportunity for teachers and educators to engage with the debate about the place of such technology in their class, school or local authority
• develop relationships with academic and industry partners to extend and refine effective and innovative practice with computer games.

The Consolarium has a comprehensive range of games-related resources as well as state-of-the-art teaching materials. These include:

• Sony Playstation 3
• Microsoft Xbox 360 live
• Sony Playstation 2
• Nintendo Wii
• Sony PSP
• Nintendo DS
• a PC and a Mac designed for use with games
• a range of peripherals such as Eye Toy, Dance Mats and guitars
• an ever-growing catalogue of console and PC/Mac-based games
• Promethean Activision+2 interactive whiteboard with sound system and an integrated wireless network for collaborative game play.

The Consolarium’s online presence will aim to provide schools with a range of resources, features and links that will assist teachers' understanding, appreciation and practical application of computer games in learning contexts.

They want to create the opportunities and frameworks that will allow them to partner local authorities that wish to explore how games-based learning can impact on teaching and learning in their schools.

You are more than welcome to visit the Consolarium, to contribute to the community or to ask them to bring resources to you to support CPD or any new initiatives.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Serious Games Replicating The Benefits Of Electric Vehicles


Bringing Real World Brands into Serious Games


Via: Advertising Lab - Renault Puts Electric Cars in Sims 3

PRESS RELEASE

EA and Renault Announce Exclusive Agreement With The Sims 3

Players "Drive The Change" and Reap Benefits of Electric Vehicles Inside World's Best-selling PC Franchise

LONDON, Apr 19, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) and Renault announced a multi-year agreement that will enable players of The SimsTM 3 PC/Mac to integrate Renault's forthcoming range of electric vehicles into one of the world's most successful entertainment franchises across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

This spring, Renault's Twizy Z.E Concept car - will be made available to download free of charge by The Sims 3 players within an Electric Vehicle Pack (EVP), which will comprise a number of sustainable environmental items including solar panels and a windmill.


The use of the EVP inside The Sims 3 will have positive repercussions for a player's in-game family by reducing their weekly virtual household bills.

"This partnership delivers benefits for Renault and the consumer that are unique in today's media landscape," said Elizabeth Harz, Senior Vice President of Global Media Sales for EA. "Millions of The Sims 3 players will be able to download Renault concept vehicles and have a deep experience with the brand, while receiving genuine added gameplay value."

"The Sims 3 players have demonstrated consistent enthusiasm for bringing cool 'real world' brands into their virtual world," said Steve Seabolt, VP of Global Brand Development for The Sims. "We're excited to work with Renault on their electric vehicles and have them available for download for The Sims 3."

"Electric vehicles are going to appeal to younger, more socially conscious customers and especially early adopters," said Stephen Norman, SVP, and Global Marketing for the Renault Group. "This is the heartland of The Sims 3 community and it thus provides a great innovative way to build the Renault Brand just ahead of the Renault range of affordable electric vehicles themselves."

This partnership was negotiated by OMD Fuse International on behalf of Renault.

About The Sims

The Sims franchise celebrates its ten year anniversary this year and an impressive more than 125 million units sold since its launch in February 2000.

Now translated into 22 different languages and available in 60 different countries, The Sims has quickly become a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. Since its June 2009 launch, The Sims 3 has sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide to date and holds the #1 best-selling PC title for 2009 in North America and Europe. Fan intensity is evidenced through the 130 million downloads of player created content including: Sims, houses, stories and more.

The Sims 3 community site, http://www.thesims3.com/ welcomes up to four million unique visitors monthly, handles 300 content downloads every minute and nearly 2 million uploads have been made to date, including 20 movies each hour.

The Sims 3 YouTube Channel is in the top ten most viewed sponsored channels of all time with more than 28 million video views. Visit The Sims 3 official website to see what the players are creating at http://www.thesims3.com/ or the official YouTube Channel for The Sims at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSims.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA(TM), EA SPORTS(TM), EA Mobile(TM) and POGO(TM). In fiscal 2009, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.2 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is http://www.ea.com/.

More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com/.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile, POGO and The Sims are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc.

About Renault Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles represent the clean-break solution that can put zero-emission mobility within everybody's reach. In line with the brand's Renault-eco2 environmental policy, Renault ZE electric vehicles are poised to be marketed on a large scale with a view to taking a decisive stand on the environmental front. This clean break already possesses significant political support around the world in the form of tax incentives based on CO2 emission savings, as well as infrastructure development for electricity-based mobility. Renault will be selling affordable mass-production electric vehicles from 2011. Visit the Renault Z.E. official website at http://www.renault-ze.com./

About TWIZY Z.E. CONCEPT: 100% electric, 100% practical, 100% innovative

Twizy Z.E. is the definitive city-car for busy people seeking an efficient and practical means of mobility. It is an innovative response to the challenge of urban mobility. With its four-wheel chassis, Twizy Z.E. offers the driver and passenger - seated one behind the other - an all-electric means of transport, which produces no CO2 emissions. Twizy Z.E. is an all-electric vehicle aimed primarily at busy city dwellers who need to pick their way through the urban jungle. Every day, they juggle work commitments with a busy social life, so efficiency, speed and simplicity are key. The ultra-compact dimensions of Twizy Z.E. (2.30m in length, and just 1.13m wide) ensure that it is nimble enough for urban use. The four-wheel arrangement, open bodywork and a seat format which puts the driver and passenger behind one another express Twizy Z.E.'s distinctive character.

SOURCE: Electronic Arts Inc.
EA Corporate Communications









Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SharpBrains: Serious Gaming Your Way To Better Vision


Serious Gaming enhance visual abilities


Via: SharBrains Blog - 2010 Research Executive Brief 

SharpBrains Blog has just posted one of the Research Executive Briefs that will be included in SharpBrains’ 2010 market report, to be unveiled on May 24th.

SharBrains asked leading neuroscientists to share findings and implications from their own recent published scientific studies in order to better forecast the development trajectory of emerging applications for cognitive health and brain fitness, highlighting the need for special attention in the choice of the games to be used when considering potential real-world applications.

Here are the extracts of the Brief prepared by: Bjron Hubert-Wallander, Bjorn & Daphne Bavelier, Bavelier Brain & Vision Lab, University of Rochester (Full article here).

1. Main findings for 2008 and 2009:

Over the past ten years, research conducted by our lab and others has shown that playing fast-paced, action-packed videogames can lead to significant benefits in how well one pays attention and how well one sees.

Specifically, our studies have shown that training for as little as ten hours on action video games (like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, and Unreal Tournament) can lead to measurable enhancements in our ability to spread our attention around the visual field, our ability to keep track of multiple moving objects, and our ability to pick out relevant information from a rapid sequence of visual events. Most recently though, we have shown that action videogame training can also positively affect more basic aspects of vision such as our ability to resolve small details or see faint patterns.

2. Context to understand those findings (i.e., why are they significant and relevant):

Though the ability to detect fine differences in shading may not sound impressive in itself, this ability underlies and has profound implications for nearly all other functions of everyday vision. Detecting differences in brightness allows us to identify lines and edges, which in turn allows us to perceive objects as distinct from their backgrounds. Doing this becomes much more difficult when visibility is reduced or in poor lighting. Thus, those who have greater contrast sensitivity can better see obstructions or other objects while driving at night or in fog, for example. They can read better, navigate better, identify objects better, and generally operate more effectively overall, especially in dim light.

Using a similar approach, we have previously found that playing action videogames also improves the resolution of vision. Our ability to resolve small details in clutter is a prime determinant of our ability to identify specific objects in a crowded visual environment. Reading, too, is an example of the kind of visual chore that is dependent upon visual resolution.

3. Implications for healthcare, technology and/ or education:

Given the crucial role of contrast sensitivity and visual resolution in everyday vision and the vast number of people for whom this ability is compromised (by gradual age-related deterioration or by acute visual impairments such as amblyopia), the importance of this discovery is apparent.

Poor vision is often treated by corrections in the optics of the eye, but optical problems only account for a portion of these cases; many times the problem lies in the brain. Since the improvements induced by action videogame playing take place in the brain, not in the eye, videogame training could make a difference above and beyond eye-based treatments for those with low vision.

Thus, we suggest that interventions that include action videogame play as a component could be used to enhance the visual abilities (and thus the overall quality of life) of many who suffer from low vision. We are currently assessing the effectiveness of just such an intervention for both amblyopic patients and older adults.

Scientific citations:

◦Li, R., Polat, U., Makous, W. & Bavelier, D. (2009). Enhancing the contrast sensitivity function through action video game playing. Nature Neuroscience, 12(5), 527-8.

◦Green, C.S. & Bavelier, D. (2007). Action video game experience alters the spatial resolution of vision. Psychological Science, 18(1), 88-94.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Horizon Report: Educational Serious Games Adoption - 2 To 3 Years


We know more about how games work and how to apply them to teaching and learning than we ever have




Education In General Is Still A Few Years Away From Embracing Games As Mainstream Practice

The Horizon Report series is the most visible outcome of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, an ongoing research effort established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within education around the globe.

This volume, the 2010 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition, examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative expression within the environment of pre-college education.

Each edition of the Horizon Report introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use in the educational community within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Each report also presents critical trends and challenges that will affect teaching and learning over the same time frame.

The six technologies featured in each Horizon Report are placed along three adoption horizons that indicate likely time frames for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, or creative applications in the K-12 environment.

The second adoption horizon is set two to three years out, where we will begin to see widespread adoptions of two well-established technologies: game-based learning and mobiles. Both games and mobiles have clearly entered the mainstream of popular culture; both have been demonstrated as effective tools for learning in a number of schools already; and both are expected to see much broader use in pre-college education over the next two to three years. Mobiles make a repeat appearance this year. According to the report “both have been demonstrated as effective tools for learning in a number of schools already; and both are expected to see much broader use in pre-college education over the next two to three years.

Game-Based Learning Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Excerpts

The interest in game-based learning has accelerated considerably in recent years, driven by clear successes in military and industrial training as well as by emerging research into the cognitive benefits of game play.

Developers and researchers are working in every area of game-based learning, including games that are goal-oriented; social game environments; non-digital games that are easy to construct and play; games developed expressly for education; and commercial games that lend themselves to refining team and group skills. At the low end of game technology, there are literally thousands of ways games can be — and are already being — applied in learning contexts. More complex approaches like role-playing, collaborative problem solving, and other forms of simulated experiences have broad applicability across a wide range of disciplines, and are beginning to be explored in more classrooms.

According to the report game-based learning is an expansive category, ranging from simple paper-and-pencil games like word searches all the way up to complex, massively multiplayer online (MMO) and role-playing games. Educational games can be broadly grouped into three categories: games that are not digital; games that are digital, but that are not collaborative; and collaborative digital games. The first category includes many games already common in classrooms as supplemental learning tools. Digital games include games designed for computers, for console systems like the Nintendo Wii, and online games accessed either through a special game client (like IBM’s Power Up) or through a web interface like Whyville.

The three most recent cohorts of kids - those born in the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 2000s - define our school populations, and throughout their lives, they have always been immersed in the culture of digital games; it is like the air they breathe.

Games are a natural way to reach young people today, and a great deal more is now known about how to develop good games both for entertainment and for education.

Research and experience are starting to show that games can clearly be applied very effectively in many learning contexts. Games can engage learners in ways other tools and approaches cannot, and their value for learning has been established through research. We know more about how games work and how to apply them to teaching and learning than we ever have, and that understanding is increasing.

Education in general is still a few years away from embracing games as mainstream practice, but given the exciting results coming from game-based research, they are clearly a space to watch.

Serious Games Technology Co Cuts Cost of 3D Development With New Launch


Rapidly creating 3d performance simulations and Serious Games


PRESS RELEASE

London, UK, 16th April 2010

Summary:

Award-winning simulation technology company, Caspian Learning, continues to reduce the development costs of 3d simulations for training, performance and engagement with the release of a new version of its Thinking Worlds rapid 3d authoring tool.

Caspian Learning, the UK-based 3d simulation technology company, today announced the release of the latest version of its award-winning 3d authoring tool Thinking Worlds.

The proprietary software technology allows designers to rapidly create 3d performance simulations and Serious Games.

The new additions to Thinking Worlds 3.3 include the ability to integrate files created in Adobe’s Flash effortlessly into 3d environments and publish them directly to the Internet. This will enable faster development and subsequently lowers the development costs of immersive simulations for designers.

The latest additions make the creation of immersive 3d learning and performance simulations even more cost effective than previous versions of the software.

Lee Rushworth, Marketing Executive for Caspian Learning, described the new release as “another round of exciting benefits that give instructional designers even more rapid authoring capability at their disposal”.

He added: “It’s our hope that with each new release, we make it easier for content developers to create simulations more efficiently and more cost effectively and that is exactly what we believe Thinking Worlds 3.3 has achieved.”

After using Thinking Worlds to create a quick 10-minute fully immersive simulation, Gustavo Sanabria, Managing Director of innovative simulation design company, IGS, said: “It was very fast to develop indeed. If we had to build it again, it would take us no more than 15/20 hours.’

As part of Caspian Learning’s drive to make the creation of 3d performance simulations and Serious Games more accessible to traditional learning and development providers, they have made a free trial of the software available to download directly from its website. The free trial is available by clicking “Try Now” at http://www.thinkingworlds.com/

A full overview of benefits associated with the new Thinking Worlds 3.3 release is also available.

About Caspian Learning

Founded in 2002 by two neuroscientists, Caspian Learning is the developer of the award-winning 3d authoring tool, Thinking Worlds. Caspian Learning’s Thinking Worlds uses globally unique technology that allows instructional designers to create fully immersive 3d simulations at costs previously restricted to 2d development. Thinking Worlds has been utilised in the rapid development of immersive 3d simulations for clients including QinetiQ, Volvo UK, cBeebies and the European Union.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Games Beyond Entertainment Week: Serious Games For All Market Segments


Discussing ways Serious Games can advance on a global basis


May 24-27, 2010, Boston, MA

Featuring The 6th Annual Games for Health Conference

Games Beyond Entertainment Week 2010 is a festival of conference events about the development of games and game technologies for emerging markets and purposes beyond entertainment including health, education, productivity, training, security, and more.

Via: Ben Sawyer - Digitalmill - Serious Games Initiative - Games for Health Project

Following my prior posting International Leadership For Serious Games Gathering, here are Ben Sawyer's latest updates on the upcoming festival of conference events.

The Games for Health Conference and Games Beyond Entertainment Week are coming soon. Register now at: http://www.regonline.com/gbew2010.

We can now reveal our excellent keynotes for the 2010 Games for Health Conference:


Day 1: Wednesday May 26

THE MIND-BODY EXPERIENCE OF SONY MOVE: Relationships between Gaming, Play, Exercise, and More!

Dr. Richard Marks - Senior Researcher Sony US R&D group

Dr. Marks also known as the "father of the EyeToy" will discuss the relationship between gaming, play and exercise, referencing his work in the development of Sony’s new motion controller system, PlayStation Move, as well as his previous work with Sony’s EyeToy, PlayStation Eye and other interfaces.

Day 2: Thursday May 27

THE HUMAN PLAY MACHINE

Chaim Gingold

Chaim Gingold, a longtime independent game developer and original designer of Spore’s creature creator will discuss how existing game genres map onto the human brain and body and how design decisions affect who will be attracted to the game and how they will play.

You can see the nearly full schedule at: http://www.gamesforhealth.org/schedule.htm

Two of our May 25: Pre-Conference Events also have schedules posted:

Out & About: The Mobile Serious Games schedule: http://bit.ly/9MbEEF

3rd Annual Games Accessibility Day: http://gamesaccessibilityday.org/schedule.html

Complete details of both at http://www.gamesforhealth.org/ & http://www.gamesbeyondentertainment.com/

PDF brochures for either event at:

Games for Health - http://www.gamesforhealth.org/brochure.pdf

Games Beyond Entertainment Week - http://www.gamesbeyondentertainment.com/brochure.pdf



Two Videos For Serious Games Recap


Serious Games have gone mainstream


Earlier this month, Streamray Blog has uploaded two videos about Serious Games. Although they are not new (about one year old), they provide an interesting recap of where Serious Games are heading. 

Education & Business Find Uses for Serious Games
Video by Euronews


Computer games have broken out from their console and entertainment world, and are finding more constructive applications in the worlds of business and education. This special edition of HiTech looks at a very French revolution.

Computer Game Technology & Future of Serious Games
Video by the Alive Team


This video is a snap shot of some of today's technology used in computer games and some research and development ideas for the future of Serious Games (including Augmented Reality).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Serious Games As mHealth Services: Accenture New Study

The healthcare market is making significant investment in mHealth


Via: Accenture

mHealth is proving to be more than just another technology bridge – it is transforming our view of healthcare services.

According to a recent survey conducted by Accenture and sponsored by the GSMA between November 2009 and February 2010, consumers are not only interested in embedded devices and services, like connected health services, but many believe that using them would enrich their lives.

Their report included results from an online survey which polled 1,005 early adopter consumers that own at least four networked devices and use multiple Internet software services. Survey respondents were from the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, India and Brazil.

Accenture also asked respondents more specifically about their opinions on mobile-enabled systems for care givers of elderly persons living alone. Accenture and GSMA defined networked systems for caregivers as “devices that connect to one another and the Internet to monitor a person’s vital signs, level of physical activity, and physical condition, as well as devices that monitor for safety hazards.”

> 41 percent of consumers expressed interest in mHealth systems for caregivers

> 72 percent of those who identified themselves as caregivers also indicated interest

Accenture has recently published a presentation The Dawn of a New Age in Healthcare, from March 2010, that reports the findings for the Healthcare market.
Here are the highlights:

• From the industry perspective, mHealth is poised to take off

• The healthcare market is making significant investment in mHealth

• Builders of mHealth applications are breaking through the barriers that have constrained the industry in the past

• Persistence is revolutionizing business models by transforming products into services (Persistence refers to the always-on/ always-connected nature of networked devices)

• mHealth will achieve critical mass once stand-alone products give way to systems that address more holistic patient needs

• mHealth companies see Mobile Network Operators as significant players in the emerging healthcare ecosystem

• A new infrastructure is needed to facilitate systems that interoperate across devices and regions

• Tech Forwards are a global demographic that leads the way in the adoption of networked devices –including healthcare devices

• Tech Forwards respond favorably to mHealth system for elders that bundles multiple devices and services

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 176,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009.

About the GMSA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations.

The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

It also produces the premier industry events including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Mobile Asia Congress.

About the mHealth Alliance

The mHealth Alliance is dedicated to enabling the delivery of quality health to the farthest reaches of wireless networks in the developing world. Its mission is to be a catalyst and accelerator, supporting leaders, celebrating successes, creating hard research, filling gaps, making connections, and forging public-private partnerships. The Alliance was created by the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation, and includes the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the GSM Association among its founding partners.

Screen Media Expo 2010: Serious Games As Screen Media


Media, Marketing and Advertising agencies “playing” screen media


Digital signage pods at Westfield London
Westfield Shopping Centre houses a vast internal screen network installed and managed by CBS Outdoor


Screen Media Expo is United Kingdom's leading trade fair for Media & Advertising Industry organized by Screen Events Ltd.

Screen Media Expo has demonstrated consistent growth year after year and has solidified itself as the industry's biggest digital signage and DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) media event in Europe. It showcases the very best in innovative digital media used for delivering visual messages that combine the influence of mass advertising with the accuracy of niche marketing.

Screen Media Expo 2010 also known as Screen Media Expo Europe, will be held in London, United Kingdom on MAY 5th – 6th at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.

In 2010 the Expo moves up a gear to offer a completely different free learning program approach and a wider range of associated paid for show-floor conferences and workshops.

At the top of the tree stay the two Expos – Screen Media Expo and DOOH Expo – and branching from each of these are three education channels running on both days. These channels cover Screen Science, Screen Feed, Futurology, The Smallest Screen and The Green Standard.

Futurology Theater

Futurology looks to the imminent future and explores in detail what technologies, methods and approaches are likely to shape the development of digital signage and digital out of home networks in the next three years.

From interactive gestural signage to user generated content and augmented reality, OLED screens to 3D, the challenge will be to identify those emerging products, services and solutions that will have an appreciable impact on the digital signage and digital out of home marketplace. This channel will ask to what extent these advancements are likely to offer measurable value to network owners, end users and consumers.

Whilst this strand will provide insight into these emerging technologies and methods, it will also challenge the value they provide from a marketing and commercial perspective.

There are various individual conferences attached to the Expo. In addition to the learning program, running on Day 2 within DOOH Expo, Media Week will host its second DOOH Media Summit. The Digital Signage Strategies Forum, produced by Strategy Institute, will also be held alongside Screen Media Expo on 4 and 5 May. The Screen Forum will be launching its ‘Green Screen’ program at a special breakfast briefing held on Day 1. Steven Platt of the Platt Retail Institute will be running a paid for workshop on the use and application of Digital Signage in Banking on the afternoon of Day 1. Furthermore, a new paid for workshop will be held on the morning of Day 2 entitled “Building the Next Generation Digital Signage Network for Retail.
 
With a high share of European digital revenues, the UK is by far the largest and most developed digital signage market, followed by Germany. The event is “Digital signage & Digital out of home media” nothing else. This gives it a unique and total focus on the industry and enables target marketing to target audiences.
 
Here is the latest press release.
 
London, UK, 13 April 2010 - Screen Media Expo Europe 2010, incorporating the exclusive DOOH Expo, is on track for its biggest and best year yet.
 
Returning for its 5th anniversary year (5-6 May, Earls Court, London), the expo stands unique in its industry profile as it seeks to deliver more visitors from end user communities than other European events. Visitor pre-registration is half way to the projected attendance figure of 5,000 and exhibitors are steadily climbing up to the 130 target.
 
The 2010 event has attracted first timers such as Intel while themes including mobile integration and 3D arrive new to the show. The learning program has been innovatively devised attracting high caliber presenters and more companies are thinking out of the box to get themselves seen and heard. For up to date information about the event, please visit http://www.screenevents.co.uk/screenexpo2010.
 
The Screen Forum's novel idea for Screen Media Expo 2010 is a digital bus tour from Earls Court to London's premier digital media mall showcase, Westfield Shopping Centre.


Westfield houses a vast internal screen network installed and managed by CBS Outdoor and a unique iconic external system operated by Ocean Outdoor. Aptly named "On the buses" the bus will leave at 2pm on 5th May taking 'Route 100: All Stops to Westfield'. Passengers will receive a one hour guided tour of the site, accompanied by the key individuals behind the implementation. The trip will serve to explain how the technical decisions were made, how the suppliers were identified, how the installation was achieved and the lessons learnt. Litelogic, BroadSign, Digital View, True Colours and Magenta Research are sponsors of the event.

UK Landmark In Digital Advertising





In addition, on the evening of 5th May, The Screen Forum will be hosting 'The Green Party' - Screen Forum Members and Expo Exhibitor's Drinks Reception - to launch the 'Green Screen' initiative. The initiative aims to produce a set of sustainable guidelines for companies operating in the digital signage sector. At the event there will be a short introduction from the key companies supporting the initiative, including Harris, NEC, True Colours, Magenta Research and Digital View.

About Screen Media Expo Europe


Organized by Screen Events Ltd, Screen Media Expo Europe showcases the very best in innovative digital media used for delivering visual messages that combine the influence of mass advertising with the accuracy of niche marketing.

Launched in 2006, it attracts an audience of supplier and user communities in the digital signage and media networks Out-of-home sector. The 2010 show will take place at London's Earls Court, 5-6 May, and will host DOOH Expo for the first time, a dedicated show-within-a-show for stakeholders in the DOOH and advertising communities.

About DOOH Expo

Digital out-of-home has moved in from the margins to the mainstream of today's media. Screens are now commonplace wherever the consumer goes – on the roadside, in the train, by the baby food, at the pub.

And with repeatedly demonstrated ROI for advertised and promoted brands, the medium increasingly attracts the attention of advertisers and their agencies. Just a few years ago, it was cause for excited comment in the sector when a big-name brand committed to a digital out-of-home buy – today, it raises barely an eyebrow.

That's why Screen Media Expo, the European and international event for the medium's entire value chain, in 2010 for the first time hosts DOOH Expo – a dedicated show-within-a-show for the digital out-of-home media community. No technologists here; just a place to do business.

DOOH Expo has been created to bring advertising, marketing and communications professionals rapidly up to speed with the state of the art and the key players in digital out-of-home.