Thursday, March 10, 2011

Level Up! When Video Game Design Becomes a Serious Game


Serious Games challenging us to play a better future


Via: AMD - AMD, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and Scholastic Launch Free Online Game Development Portal for Teachers

The AMD Foundation, in collaboration with the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and Scholastic Inc., has created Level Up!, a comprehensive online teaching resource for middle and high school educators working to improve STEM and language arts skills.

LEVEL UP! features a series of standards-based lessons that provide students with the knowledge and tools to design their own video games—right from the comfort of your classroom.

The initiative, which is designed to capture students’ interests while they learn, represents the second time AMD and the Alliance have teamed up as part of AMD Changing the Game.

AMD Changing the Game is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning and improve STEM education, which is one amongst Serious Games value propositions.

Level Up!, one of the most comprehensive websites of its kind, is hosted by Scholastic Inc., the title corporate sponsor and founder of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s oldest and most prestigious program recognizing young creative teen talent. The site incorporates beginner and intermediate levels, allowing easy use for new and seasoned teachers alike, as well as informational videos, sample student-produced games, and spotlights on tools, classroom-based lessons, and resources.

Level Up! features two game design teaching tools to build original video games: Gamestar Mechanic is designed for beginner to intermediate levels, and Activate! is designed for intermediate to advanced levels.

“Video game design is an excellent but underutilized educational tool,” said Allyson Peerman, President, AMD Foundation. “Through AMD’s collaboration with the Alliance and Scholastic, we are now able to deliver valuable resources to thousands of teachers and youth experts across the country.”

About the AMD Foundation

The AMD Foundation connects and empowers individuals with knowledge, thereby opening doors to opportunity. The Foundation’s signature program, AMD Changing the Game, supports initiatives designed to help youth harness the power of digital games with social content, while learning critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and life skills.

About the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a nonprofit organization that runs the annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, recognizing and supporting teenagers’ intellectual creativity, innovation and artistic talent. Last year, with sponsorship from AMD, the Alliance launched a video game design category in the Awards competition, and in doing so, highlighted the value of game design to teachers and students. One goal of Level Up! is to increase awareness in the educational community about the potential of new technologies and the importance of investing resources in this field.

During its 88-year history, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has recognized more than 13 million creative teenagers, including Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Zac Posen, and Sylvia Plath. In the 2011 program year, the Alliance received more than 500 student submissions for its video game design category.