Saturday, July 30, 2011

Largest Game Fair in Latin America Includes Educational Serious Games

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

The fourth edition of Brazil Game Show (BGS) will be held October 5 – 9, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro. 

The event agenda comprehends the Fair, the Conference, the Games Festival Awards, Game Jam (the game development marathon, now in its second edition), and B2B (an exclusive area for doing business).

Submissions for the Games Festival Awards are now open at under 10 game categories, one of them being Educational Serious Games. The Festival provides a unique opportunity to promote the best games produced in Latin America, showing the world the enormous potential for the industry in the region (please find also Brazil's Video Game Ecosystem: Superior Serious Games Products).

Winners of Game of the Year and Independent Game categories will be awarded with All Access Pass to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. The winners will be announced on October 7 during the awards ceremony to be held at the Brazil Game Show 2011.


BGS began as a small gaming event called Rio Game Show. After a first event with 4,000 participants, and a second one with about 8,000, Rio Game Show was renamed Brazil Game Show.

Since then, BGS has grown significantly and become an annual event held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 2009 the event hosted 12,000 visitors. In 2010 the show received more than 20,000 visitors over the two-day event, occupying three times the area utilized in the previous year.

In 2011, the largest game industry gathering in the country shall establish itself as the leading event in Latin America. This 4th edition expects to welcome 70 exhibitors from Brazil and abroad, occupying approximately 16,000 square meters (the convention complex is nearly 42 thousand square meters), and 50,000 visitors, including Conference attendees (October 5, 6 and 7) and Fair visitors (October 7, 8 and 9). 

Last year, the event enjoyed more than 90% approval from the press and exhibitors. Companies that attended the Brazil Game Show in 2010 include: • Sony • Blizzard • Warner Bros • EA • Konami • Ubisoft • Codemasters • Activision • NC Games • Ronald McDonald House

BGS brings together game industry professionals and those passionate about games that wait for the announcements and premiere releases planned for the end of the year.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Serious Game Expo 2011 – Serious Games In Innovative Companies DNA

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

The Serious Game Expo was conceived to gather key Serious Games Market players in France. The 2010 edition hosted over 800 visitors and 30 exhibitors.

For its seventh consecutive edition, the Serious Games Expo, organized by the Competitiveness Cluster Imaginove and partners, opens its doors on November 21-22, 2011 at the Cité Centre des Congrès - Cité Internationale de Lyon. More than 50 exhibitors, 30 speakers and 1,000 visitors are expected to attend the largest French gathering of professionals in the industry.

The Serious Games Expo is considered a must visit exhibition to meet the best industry players in France: this 7th edition is characterized by a new international vocation that focuses on the more effective Serious Games. 

If you want to share your expertise in the next edition of Serious Game Expo 2011, you can submit a proposal by September 9.

If you wish to apply the Serious Game Expo Awards 2011 – that will reward the top two Serious Games of the year, the deadline is October 21.
Attendees’ registration will be open as of September 12.

Serious Games For Mobile Health Tracking

Serious Games challenging us to play a better health

Via: Singularity Hub - Jawbone Raises $70M, Readies To Launch A Health Tracking Wristband Later This Year

Singularity Hub reports that “Jawbone, the sleek line of innovative Bluetooth headsets, is seriously on the move raising funds from venture capitalists. Four months ago, its privately-held parent company, Aliph, announced $49 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, and now it has raised $70 million from unnamed investors through JP Morgan.” 

A press release reveals that Jawbone has developed a health tracking wristband that monitors eating habits, sleep patterns, and physical activity levels, and sends this data to your phone so you can assess your lifestyle against your health goals through a mobile app. 

  The wristband is called UP and is slated to arrive at the end of 2011, bringing innovation to health monitoring

While Jawbone’s UP has a number of competitors, including BodyMedia, FitBit, Nike+, and DirectLife, the Jawbone offering is most similar to the device coming out from Basis, which was previously known as PulseTracer. Basis is set to offer a wrist worn device called Basis Band that measures the wearer’s heart rate and other vital signs. Basis also plans to allow third party developers to build apps that work with the device. The startup secured $9 million in funding this past March and its team includes a former Google Health alum and a new CEO, Jef Holove, who was formerly CEO of Eye-Fi. 

While Basis Band is available for pre-order from the company’s website at $199, the company has yet to announce its pricing and when the device will first ship.

Jawbone’s CEO Hosain Rahman explained Jawbone’s move into mobile health:

 “It seems like a big departure, but once we start talking about the things it takes to make this whole category work, we get into things like making it tiny, having a long battery life, making it fashionable, making it waterproof, working with smart phones, having a rich, visual experience on your smart phone and making it social,” Hosain said. “This is all stuff we do anyway. It comes back around to the mission of your mobile lifestyle.”


UP™ by Jawbone to Launch Later this Year

EDINBURGH, Scotland, July 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TEDGlobal -- Jawbone® a leading innovator of products and services for the mobile lifestyle, today unveiled its vision to inspire people to live healthier with UP™ by Jawbone – a new product the company plans to launch later this year.  

Lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer cause more deaths than communicable diseases, according to the CDC. Research shows eating healthier, getting quality sleep, and moving more can prevent most of these lifestyle diseases.

"We are excited to share our vision at TEDGlobal because this epidemic will take an entire community to affect a global change," said Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman. "TED is a community of thought leaders that can help propel this idea into a global movement."

UP leverages Jawbone's expertise, integrating robust computing and sophisticated sensor technology in the form of functional jewelry.

UP by Jawbone is a new system that tracks your movement, sleep patterns, and nutrition so you can live a healthier life.  This new end-to-end system consists of a small wristband that monitors your activity 24/7, a mobile app that analyzes the activity, and an open platform that motivates you with personal and social recommendations and challenges tailored to your goals.

"We're passionate about creating products for the mobile lifestyle that people love to use everyday.  And now, we're harnessing that passion to approach a major global issue – health," Rahman continues.  "We are focused on creating a highly accessible solution for this particular space that integrates seamlessly into a user's daily life with the goal of making it absolutely easy for them to live better."

UP by Jawbone will be available later this year. 

To be alerted to the release of UP, sign up for email updates at

About Jawbone®

For more than a decade, Jawbone has developed products and services for the mobile lifestyle unparalleled in their innovation, ease-of-use and sophistication of design. The company is the creator of the award-winning and best-selling premium ICON Bluetooth headset; the inventor of NoiseAssassin® technology, the world's first and only military-grade noise-eliminating technology; JAMBOX, the first intelligent wireless speaker and speakerphone; as well as THOUGHTS, a free mobile service that allows users to utilize their voice in a new way. A 2010 IDSA Design of the Decade winner, Jawbone is committed to delivering innovative products that improve the mobile lifestyle through ever-changing software and wearability. Jawbone is privately-held and headquartered in San Francisco.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

GDC 2012 Call for Speakers Now Open, Sep 29 Serious Games Summit

The call for submissions to present lectures, panels, roundtables, and tutorials at the 2012 Game Developers Conference (GDC) is now open through Tuesday, September 6. GDC will be held March 5-9, 2012 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. 

NOTE: If you are interested in submitting for any of the GDC Summits, the call for submission will open September 29 - October 31.

The advisory board is seeking submissions from game developers with expertise in any of the following tracks: Audio, Business, Marketing & Management, Design, Production, Programming, and Visual Arts.

Please review the submission guidelines and track topics prior to submitting

Mark your Calendars for GDC 2012!

March 5-9, 2012
Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, CA

March 5 - March 9, 2012
GDC Play Days March 6 & 7
Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, CA


The Game Developers Conference®-- the world’s longest running and largest professionals only event dedicated to game development -- introduces GDC Play as a unique opportunity for emerging developers to showcase their games to fellow GDC attendees.

Inspired by the success of the Independent Games Festival Pavilion at GDC, the new initiative will include space in special Pavilions themed around emerging game markets. The program will allow GDC Play exhibitors to display their games to key distributors, publishers, press and investors visiting the conference. GDC Play Pavilions for social & online, smartphone & tablet, and independent games will all located within a dedicated room and include a networking lounge with seating areas for more in-depth meetings.
GDC 2012 will also host an exclusive, invitation-only event to showcase the games at GDC Play.  The guest list will include GDC Play exhibitors, sponsors, select publishers and members of the press, investors & other decision makers.

When signing up for GDC Play, which is open to a range of emerging developers showcasing playable games, game creators will be given a standalone kiosk with a monitor, keyboard, speakers and Internet connection, as applicable. This makes it an incredibly simple, low-cost opportunity to exhibit titles to prospective business partners, investors and the press.

Experts to Discuss Effective Serious Games for Government and Military

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

The first-annual Serious Play Conference will feature an impressive list of speakers in the government/military track, including:

• Jim Hadley, Instructional Designer, The Boeing Company
• Talib Hussain, Senior Scientist, Raytheon BBN Technologies
• Ross Smith, Director of Test, Microsoft

Plese find below the confirmed speakers, and their topics, in the government/military track for the Serious Play Conference.

Project Leads, Developers of Serious Games for Government and Military Units To Tackle Tough Questions about Creating Effective, Measurable Programs

SEATTLE – July 27, 2011 – Seasoned veterans who have developed games and sims for government or military use will take on the tough questions about how to create effective, measurable programs at this year’s Serious Play Conference Tuesday – Thursday, August 23 – 25, at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington.

In addition to plenary sessions on market size, tools and technology and assessment strategies, the conference offers an impressive set of speakers and sessions for the government/military games track: 

• Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D., Director, Global Learning and Technology Center, Defense Acquisition University
How to Create an Effective Sim/Game Strategy

• Sharon Sloane, CEO, WILL Interactive
Simulations for the U.S. Military: Design and Implementation

• Zack Larson, CSO, design3
Utility and Blender: Serious Game Development

• Jon Aleckson, CEO, WebCourseWorks
Rigorous Methodologies and Skill Sets for the Sim/Game Development Process

MindMeld – Collaboration with SME’s and the Value of Rigorous Processes

• Jim Hadley, Instructional Designer, The Boeing Company
Modeling Content: ISD for Instructional Simulations

• Alicia Sanchez, Games Czar, Defense Acquisition University
An Enterprise Approach to Casual Games for Learning

• Bob Hone, Creative Director, Red Hill Studios
Games for Compliance Training

• Talib Hussain, Senior Scientist, Raytheon BBN Technologies
Techniques for Achieving an Effective Blend Between Engagement and Learning in Games

• Brayden Olson, CEO, Novel
The Top 5 Ways Gamification Can Save Your Organization Money

• Ross Smith, Director of Test, Microsoft
A Case Study of Quality Control

Spatial Humanities: Serious Games Revolutionizing Historical Data

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education

A New Generation of Digital Mapmakers
Over the past decade, historical GIS has emerged as a promising new methodology for studying history, which can be utilized to reorganize and reevaluate historical data.

Via: The New York Times - Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land

Historians, literary theorists, archaeologists and other academics are using advanced technology to establish a novel field that they are tentatively calling Spatial Humanities

These scholars are using Serious Games for Studying History: Geographic Information Systems (Historical GIS) display and analyze information related to a physical location to re-examine real or fictional places in new ways. 

Spatial Humanities aims to revolutionize humanities scholarship by critically engaging the technology to determine the influence of geographical space on human behavior and cultural development. 

Humanities scholars explore the potential of spatial methods to discover relationships of memory, artifact, and experience that exist in a particular place and across time

Like the crew on the starship Enterprise, humanists are exploring a new frontier of the scholarly universe: space.

“Mapping spatial information reveals part of human history that otherwise we couldn't possibly know,” says Anne Kelly Knowles, a geographer at Middlebury College in Vermont. “It enables you to see patterns and information that are literally invisible.” It adds layers of information to a map that can be added or taken off at will in various combinations; the same location can also be viewed back and forth over time at the click of a mouse.”

Example of Spatial Humanities Projects – General Lee's View of Gettysburg

A viewshed analysis showing what General Robert E. Lee could have seen on the second day of fighting at Gettysburg. The light areas would have been visible.

Anne Kelly Knowles posed a simple question that could not be accurately answered before: What could the Confederate General Robert E. Lee, actually see during the Battle of Gettysburg?

Knowles’s team began by creating a digital map of the area’s topography at the time of the battle. Then, to replicate the view Lee would have had when he climbed to the top of the Lutheran seminary on the second day of fighting, the team generated what is known as a “viewshed” from a point 75 feet above the terrain — the distance from the ground to the cupola floor plus Lee’s eye-level standing in his boots.

The pale white ovals in the map at right indicate areas historians have previously identified as visible to Lee from this vantage point. 

According to the viewshed analysis, Lee could have seen considerably more. All the light areas on the map would have been visible, including much of the northern half of the battlefield. Little Round Top and the high ground along Emmitsburg Road near the Peach Orchard, where Lee had intended Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s corps to attack the Union line with artillery fire, might also have been visible. The viewshed analysis presumes a bald landscape, so in reality some sightlines would have been limited by trees and other obstructions.

Anne Kelly Knowles says her work helps “make Lee’s dilemma more vivid and personal.” Nineteenth-century military leaders relied primarily on their own eyes, and small differences in elevation were strategically important. “Lee probably could not have possibly seen the massive federal forces building up on the eastern side of the battlefield on Day 2 during the famous attack on Little Round Top. He had to make decisions with really inadequate information.”

Advanced mapping tools, around since the 1960s were initially used primarily for environmental analysis and urban planning. In the late 1980s and 1990s Geographic Historical Information Systems enabled scholars to take census information and other quantifiable data and plot changes in a location over time. By the late 1990s professional networks and organizations began to form, but this sort of mapmaking remained on the margins.

Find More On The Subject…

The Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia Library has developed a new Spatial Humanities website the up-and-coming generation of digital mapmakers. 

Bethany Nowviskie, the director of digital scholarship at the library, explained that the site serves as both a clearinghouse of projects and sourcebook of information for those interested in using Geographic Information Systems in their scholarship.

The Scholars’ Lab site also includes short essays on what the trend means to anthropology, literature, religion and architecture; articles, research and monographs related to spatial humanities; and step-by-step tutorials on how to use the new tools and resources for teaching and scholarly work. It describes how to convert a list of street addresses to points on a map, or how to make historic maps spatial.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live Now: Join GE Healthymagination Game Changers Summit On Ustream TV

Serious Games challenging us to play a better health

Via: GE Helathymagination: Game Changers Summit On Ustream

Healthymagination is GE’s six-year, $6 billion strategy for taking on one of the toughest challenges: global health (find also Geoterra: Serious Games For GE's Ecomagination).

GE’s Ask Anything programming brings together today’s leading innovative thinkers.

The Game Changers Summit is a deep dive into how social gaming, personal tech and mobile devices can catalyze innovative behavior change, fostering better experience & greater engagement for everyone. 

The event features a talent roster of pioneers in the space — mavericks who are leading the change.

See all the innovative LIVE here 

Join now and send your questions to #AskGE

450 East 29th Street,
2nd Floor New York, NY 10016


Tues, 7/26, 9-5:30pm

About Healthymagination

Healthymagination is a shared commitment to creating better health for more people.

Almost everyone wants to make healthier choices, but they don’t always know how. The amount of information available on wellness, nutrition and exercise is overwhelming, to say the least. Even when we do know how to improve our health, we often try to make sweeping changes or set goals that seem too daunting to reach. 

Healthymagination is about becoming healthier, through the sharing of imaginative ideas and proven solutions. It goes beyond innovations in the fields of technology and medicine, celebrating the people behind these advancements. Seeking to build stronger relationships between patients and doctors, GE created Healthymagination to gather, share and discuss healthy ideas.

Because Healthymagination is about becoming healthier together, it takes the form of multiple projects that you can participate in, whether you’re looking to change your lifestyle or fine-tune your approach to health. Making healthy decisions should be easy...and fun.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Serious Games, Serious Money: Google's Web Reshaping

Serious Games challenging us to play better social networks

Via: TechCrunch and Geek with Laptop

TechCrunch reports today that “Google’s stock is reaching its highest value over the past six months, trading as high as $619.50 share on Friday, putting search giant just shy of a $200 billion market cap.”

TechCrunch adds “in the week following the launch of Google+, the company’s most ambitious social product yet, investors added $20 billion to Google’s market cap. That combined with the general strength of the market and health of Google as a company propelled the stock upwards into July.”

As Google+ hit 20 million users, analysts are now optimistic for Google’s social plans. As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, Barclays Capital equity researchers are telling investors that “given positive initial traction from users we believe Google is now better positioned to compete and integrate social cues across its products than before, which could drive increased relevancy in search going forward.”

I tend to agree with Geek with Laptop that Google News Badges can also become an important piece in Google’s Web Reshaping.

The analogy: as Google+ Turns Spheres of Connections Into Serious Games, Google Badges gamifies our selection of topics, thus personalizing the news that tends to bombard us every day.

Google News Gamified

“In the past month, Google has started to change many products that they currently have. It all started with that black bar and fulminated with the end of Google+. We may not sense it, but everything was carefully planned, even the Google Translate interface was modified so that its colors suit the Google+ style.”

“Google News Badges is another piece in the giant puzzle Google is trying to put together and we have to wonder: are they doing this for the Chrome OS, transforming the online navigation into a real OS experience or they’re just improving their products?”

HumanaVille: Serious Games Providing Productivity Solutions In Healthcare

Serious Games challenging us to play better health

Via: Humana, Inc. - Humana Creates “Virtual Neighborhood” to Provide Health and Wellness Education for Seniors 

Humana (please find also Humana Serious Games: Helping You Play Your Way To A Better Health) announced earlier this month the launch of HumanaVille, built in collaboration with Numedeon on their Interactive Community Engine.  The Numedeon engine was built in the context of Whyville, a virtual learning world for children now with almost 7 million registered users.

Here is the full press release: supports members with health and wellness information, leading to increased understanding of resources and offerings 

LOUISVILLE — Humana, Inc. has launched, an innovative online community that engages members 65 and older through an interactive virtual neighborhood” to connect them to extensive health and wellness resources. 

From 2004 to 2009 alone, the number of seniors actively engaging online increased by more than 55 percent, from 11.3 million active users to 17.5 million, and HumanaVille was developed to support this ever-increasing online population.

HumanaVille will provide Medicare Advantage and Medicare Advantage Part D members with an easy-to-navigate website to enhance access to information on various health and wellness topics and to information about Humana’s Member Assistance Program (MAP). The site was developed by LifeSynch, Humana’s wholly owned behavioral health and behavior change subsidiary that administers Humana’s MAP.

"With HumanaVille, our goal is to provide an interactive and entertaining way to make health related information more accessible and more intuitive to Humana’s Medicare members,” said Pat Gotcher, president of LifeSynch. “In the process, we also hope to create a sense of community among members.”

The HumanaVille community includes real-world locations and activities such as a town square, health clinic, library, fitness center, games and relaxation spots. In these locations, members will find information, games and avatar-based interaction. Members can interact directly through online chat and community discussion forums where they can post original content and topics, ask questions, and respond to each other on those topics. Current forums discuss health and wellbeing subjects such as how to manage your healthcare, cope with stress and learn low-impact exercises.

In addition to tutorials and an automated guide available 24/7, live representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT to help members navigate the site.

Humana is informing Medicare Advantage and Part D members about HumanaVille through member resources, and members can access the site using their current username and password for

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading consumer-focused healthcare company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. 

By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Serious Games Polarities: Playing Google+ versus Checking FB

Serious Games challenging us to play with spheres of connections

Via: Hannibal and MeThe Sociological Breakthrough Of Google+

by Andreas Kluth on July 20, 2011
Re-shared from Larry Ferlazzo on Google+

Among the zillions of posts trying to explain Google+ phenomenon (please find also Google+ Turns Spheres of Connections Into Serious Games ), the one that has recently drawn my attention is Andrea Kluth’s post The Sociological Breakthrough Of Google+. 

His opening statement:

My last Facebook update said: Too busy playing on Google+ to check FB. And that was five days ago.”

Here are the highlights:

The truth is that I’ve long been too busy doing anything to check Facebook. I’ve secretly, and increasingly, loathed Facebook since I joined it, which was relatively early (beginning of 2007, I believe), because my beat at The Economist back then was Silicon Valley, and it was simply part of my job to be fiddling with stuff like this.”

“Why this skepticism? Because Facebook is fundamentally indiscreet.”

“And it is fundamentally indiscreet because it is architecturally indiscreet. (Forgive me that word play.) Meaning: you cannot distinguish easily between different degrees of intimacy among the people in your social graph. The various relationships are not discrete, not separate.”

“I still recall meeting Mark Zuckerberg, who was not yet used to meeting anybody, much less the heads of state and glitterati that surround him now, and who was awkward even by the standards of Silicon Valley’s skewed autism spectrum “Mark’s vision (as he told it to me back then) was to be a “mapmaker” (like the heroic explorers of the Renaissance) of human connections. To him that was an algorithmic challenge. I always knew that his premise was unsound sociologically.”

“Tell me: In real life, how often do you walk up to somebody and request to be “friends”, and then begin “sharing” pictures of your naked baby?”

“So now we have Google+. It has not even officially been launched yet, but seems to have passed 18 million users today. We all thought that sheer fatigue would keep all of us from filling out yet another profile. But LoL, everyone I know is already there, and we’re playing happily.”

“Google+’s crucial innovation (among many others existing or planned) is Circles. You can make as many of them as you like. They can contain 1 person, 2 people, or the entire web. Because there are things you want to share with just one person, or with 2, or with lots, or with everybody.”

Ergo: Discrete  discreet

“You also don’t have to ask anybody to be your “friend”. Nor do you have to reply to anybody’s “friend request”. You simple put people into the discrete/discreet spheres they already inhabit in your life.”

“Now, if you had asked me which company I considered least likely to come up with such a sociologically simple and elegant solution, I might well have answered: Google.”

“Its founders and honchos worship algorithms more than Mark Zuckerberg does. Google then seemed to live down to our worst fears by making several seriously awkward attempts at “social” (called Buzz and Wave and so forth).”

“But these calamities seem to have been blessings. Google seems to have been humbled into honesty and introspection. It then seems to have done the unthinkable and consulted not only engineers but … sociologists (yuck). And now it has come back with … this.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

Serious Games As Technology That Mimics Nature

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

Via: TED talkA Robot That Flies Like A Bird

Plenty of robots can fly -- but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. 

SmartBird is the centerpiece of a broader project to build technology that mimics nature. Futuristically named the Bionic Learning Network, the project is a collaboration between Festo and universities that has so far built six different robotic animals. 

For the most part, Fischer says, 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”.

The latest TED talk feels features Markus Fischer, the head of corporate design for German tech company Festo

The video shows what appears to be a sort of stiff seagull flying around the conference hall - a kind of like those bald eagle shows at theme parks except for one glaring difference:  Festo's bird is actually a lightweight robot.


Given its instant accessibility to crowds, Fischer's approach to robotics has been featured in exhibitions at New York's MoMA and worldwide.

Festo’s AirJelly wow crowds in Germany

There's also a robotic fish called the "Airacuda." It can swim around a tank on its own and even blows bubbles.

The "Festo Aqua Penguin" offers similar functionality, but it looks like a penguin. Remarkably like a penguin, in fact--though the creepy glowing blue eyes give away its robotic secret.