Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ambassador: Best Serious Game 2011 at Serious Game Expo


The 7th Serious Games Expo announces 2011 awards winners


Following my prior post SeriousGame Expo 2011 – Serious Games In Innovative Companies DNA,  the 7th Serious Game Expo, held in Lyon November 21-122, announced last week the winners of the 2011 awards: the Best Serious Game 2011 Award was granted to KTMAdvance for the game Ambassador created for Suez Environment and the Special Serious Game Expo Award was granted to Daesign for the game Mission Antitrust, created for Michelin.

Suez Environment and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting natural resources and ecosystems. The company provides solutions to millions of people and industries in the drinking water, wastewater treatment and waste management fields.

With more than 25 subsidiaries, 79,554 employees and a worldwide presence, presenting the Suez Group to the newcomers is a recurring daily challenge. This is the reason why Suez contracted the development of an interactive induction program targeting this audience and also existing employees, to reinforce company’s commitments.

Ambassador is a Serious Game based on the Suez Environment’s document: “4 priorities, 12 commitments”.

Through various and successive missions, the player has to develop an environmental performance model for water and waste management of a city: players progressively understand Suez Group’s professions and areas of expertise, waste and water cycles, group’s commitments and sustainable development actions.

Friday, November 25, 2011

3 Days to I/ITSEC 2011: World's Largest Modeling and Sim Exhibition


Serious Games competition await 20,000 attendees from around the world


Boeing presents MT55 Pro-based Training Solution at I/ITSEC 2011

I/ITSEC will also feature the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2011 - Serious Games Competition Await 20,000 Expected Attendees From Around The World

PRESS RELEASE

Over a half-million total square feet of floor space will be occupied by virtual worlds, live enactments and synthetic operating environments in healthcare, disaster response, law enforcement and many other critical training areas at this year's I/ITSEC, taking place at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, November 28-December 1.

600 corporations, research organizations, government and military organizations, and academic institutions will showcase the latest developments in live, virtual and constructive training technologies.


I/ITSEC will also feature the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge - a Serious Games competition, hosted annually by the National Training Systems Association in connection with the I/ITSEC Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

The goal of Serious Games Showcase & Challenge is to identify innovative game-based technologies and solutions that improve training across all segments for individuals, groups and systems.

The use of simulation in healthcare is expanding exponentially, and as a reflection of this, I/ITSEC this year will also feature an expanded Healthcare Pavilion, where exhibitors in a broad array of medical, research and healthcare fields will be concentrated.

About I/ITSEC

The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) promotes cooperation among the Armed Services, Industry, Academia and various Government agencies in pursuit of improved training and education programs, identification of common training issues and development of multiservice programs.


Initiated in 1966 as the Naval Training Device Center/Industry Conference, the conference has evolved and expanded through increased participation by the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Industry.

In 1979 it became known as the Interservice/Industry Training Equipment Conference. The Services have steadily evolved toward a total systems philosophy in the acquisition of training equipment and training delivery systems.

In 1986 the Conference name was further refined to the Interservice/Industry Training Systems Conference (I/ITSC) to recognize the increased importance of Manpower, Personnel, and Training aspects in the systems acquisition process.

In 1992 the name was further changed to the Interservice/Industry Training Systems and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) to reflect the consolidation of the Manpower and Training Committee (MTC) and the Technology and Innovations in Training and Education (TITE) Conference with I/ITSEC. This change emphasizes the importance of education and the man-machine interface in meeting force-training requirements through simulation training.

In 1997, to reflect continued growth and changes in the industry, the conference name was refined to the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC).


Monday, November 21, 2011

World Bank Institute: Serious Games For Leadership Capacity Building


Serious Games shaping leadership for the world of tomorrow



Source: Press Release - Games To Shape Leadership For The World Of Tomorrow
By Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen -
CEO Serious Games Interactive

The World Bank Institute is making a strong push for bringing Serious Games one step further with two leadership capacity building strategic games.

Early this year, the World Bank Institute issued a RFP for two new Serious Games addressing the processes of procurement reform and urban development. Here are the excerpts:

“Both products are intended to enhance existing multi-national training programs and activities that emphasize the key role of coalition building in leadership.”

“These digital games would be added to traditional materials WBI is utilizing in its leadership workshops. Preference will be given to a vendor who has already developed similar game simulations and can re-purpose an existing technology and game structure to serve this project. Each game is conceived of as a single player strategy game. The interface is expected to be simple and accessible, with easy to use game mechanics, targeted at non-gamers.”

Last September, Serious Games Interactive, the Copenhagen-based developer of Serious Games, announced the partnership with the World Bank Institute for building Serious Games for leadership capacity building around the world.

Over the last months Serious Games Interactive have collaborated with content experts and learning specialists from the World Bank Institute to develop a Serious Game on Procurement Reforms and another on Participatory Budgeting.


The Procurement Reforms Game is a strategic simulation game in which the player has to engage a variety of stakeholders to build the necessary foundation for getting reforms passed. During the game the player has to analyze different stakeholders, gather information, prioritize resources and decide what actions will further the necessary reforms.

Target group: Decision-maker and stakeholders
Platform: Single-player, web-based
Technology: Unity3D
Playtime: 60-120 minutes


Participatory Budgeting Game

These games are being developed as a part of the World Bank Institute’s Leadership for Development Program package.

The games are built up like cases that help reformers take leadership to change their country, to develop a prosperous and modern society.

Through these Serious Games, change agents from around the world get a shared space for learning and reflecting on the complexity of the reform environment and the challenges they face. This will complement face-to-face contact with experts.

About Serious Games Interactive

Serious Games Interactive is an award-winning, research-based developer of games, simulations and virtual worlds. SGI offer a unique blend of competences within games, learning and storytelling. Since the company’s establishment in 2006 we’ve developed solutions that integrate learning and game elements with the best possible user experience.

About World Bank Institute

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. It is part of the World Bank Group. We connect practitioners, networks and institutions to help them find solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the ’how’ of reform, we link knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations. We work with and through global, regional and country-based institutions and practitioner networks and help them develop customized programs that respond to their needs. WBI connects globally and delivers locally.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Future-Making Serious Games on Google+ Pages


Serious Games challenging us to play new social networks



Google+ Pages Badges Are Now Out Of Preview With Updated +1 Count

The Google+ badge has graduated out of preview today. For those who’ve already added the code, this means all users will be able to see the badge starting today.

Featuring both an ‘add to circle’ and a ‘+1’ button, the Google+ badge
helps you grow your audience on Google+ while also showing more
recommendations on Google Search.



If you have linked your Google+ page to your site, the count of +1s on
the badge will represent the +1s across your brand including those
from your home page, your Google+ page, and any ads you’ve linked via Social Extensions.

Please note, once you’ve linked your Google+ page to your site, there
may be a delay before the count shown on the badge includes +1s from across your brand. During this delay, the badge will show the count of +1s from your Google+ page.

Get your Google+ badge with the badge configuration tool:
https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/config

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge Now Open For Entries


Serious Games to motivate children's interest in STEM 



The nationwide competition (find also 2011- STEM Serious Games Challenge - Winners Announced)  invites game makers of every age to show their passion for both playing and making video games, while aiming to motivate children's interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).


The four different categories are all dedicated to STEM Serious Games:  the Middle School and High School categories aim to motivate and engage students in STEM learning by challenging them to design and create their very own original video games. The Collegiate and Educator categories challenge emerging game developers to show us their skills by designing video games for children in pre-K - grade 12 that teach STEM curricula in a new and innovative way.

For more information and to register, please visit http://www.stemchallenge.org/

This competition is being run by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, in partnership with sponsors AMD Foundation, Entertainment Software Association, Xbox 360, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting PBS KIDS Ready To Learn initiative. Outreach partners include the American Association of School Librarians, American Library Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, BrainPOP, George Lucas Educational Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, International Game Developers Association, and One Economy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aldrich´s Mechanism For Hooking Up Serious Games Buyers and Sellers

 
A Readymade Serious Games Database For Free


Profile: Sid Meier's Civilization IV


In the next twelve months ClarkAldrich is going to assemble a Simulation and Serious Games database that will be completely available for free to the public.

Clark explains his primary reason to create The Simulations and Serious Games Registry:

“I know a lot of organizations that want to find and buy readymade simulations and Serious Games, and I know a lot of great products that are out there that would meet their needs. But the mechanism for hooking up buyers and sellers doesn't exist.”

So in the next twelve months, he intends to solve that problem, starting with blog postings and then evolve it into a database designed explicitly for organizations to find them the best off-the-shelf products.

Aligned with the above objective, he has already posted 4 “profiles”: Simulation for Department of Homeland Security, Center for Domestic Preparedness, Project Integration Management Simulation, Sid Meier's Civilization IV and Army Influence Trainer.


Each profile contains a thorough review of a Serious Game or Sim. If you would like any of your work to be included in this project, just fill out this spreadsheet as completely as possible (he doesn't need every cell filled out), one row per product, and then also send three screen shots (between a third to a full meg), using the naming convention of [sim name]-[picture number (1-3)].jpg.

Aldrich believes this resource can fundamentally change the industry.

“The industry will get larger, easier to navigate, with the great examples being highlighted. Twelve months after its launch, this database and the clear view it enables will become indispensable to users, buyers, vendors, and the press”, he says.

Now in Phase Two: The Simulation and Serious Games Registry, ClarkChart, is now available in beta. Check it out here: http://www.clarkchart.com/




Friday, November 4, 2011

New Book: Getting Serious About Games In Libraries


Serious Games bringing the total gaming experience to the library


Bringing The Total Gaming Experience To Your Library, written by Kelly Nicole Czarnecki and published by Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. (2011), addresses a context for learning that is pretty close to my heart.

The topic “Gaming & Libraries Broadening The Intersections” was object of my prior posts Getting Serious About Games In Libraries @ Future Making Serious Games Blog

Kelly Czarnecki, who also authored the Tech Set book Gaming in Libraries, is a Technology Education Librarian at ImaginOn (NC), the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, USA.


ImaginOn (NC)

Czarnecki graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana with her MLIS and Ed.M in Educational Policy. She is a writer and speaker mostly about teens and youth using technology in the library.

Whether gaming is already a crucial part of your library's core services or it's only just been introduced, author Kelly Nicole Czarnecki, shows how to host gaming events for all different types of users. Bringing the Total Gaming Experience to Your Library is useful for librarians of any skill or experience level with gaming.

Collaboration and critical thinking skills that are inherent to gameplay are included in the book, such as creating ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) at the library, using social networking elements as game pieces, and exploring the concepts of game design via character, plot and narrative development.

Here’s a brief table of contents:

1. Ecology of Gaming
2. Gaming Spaces in Libraries
3. Offering a Machinima Workshop
4. Organizing an Alternate Reality Game
5. Offering a Game Design Workshop
6. Organizing a Gaming Session at Your Local Library Conference
7. Virtual, Mobile, and Augmented Reality Gaming
8. Gaming Off the Grid



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Edutopia: How To Bring Serious Games Into The Classroom


Serious Games inviting children to use a more embodied learning approach 
 

The latest issue of Edutopia’s e-Newsletter, dated November 2, under the headline How to Bring Gaming into the Classroom, presents three must-read articles related to Serious Games at school (find also DisconnectsBetween Serious Games Wins and Report Cards for Students’ Classroom Skills):


Dr. Alex Games (his real name), Education Design Director at Microsoft Studios, shares some new game experiences that can bring both augmented reality and embodied learning into the classroom.

He holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction/Learning Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and led the Educational Games and Simulations Project at the Center for Instructional Technologies.

“Nearly three decades of scientific research in games and learning have shown evidence that game play can help players develop a systemic understanding of world phenomena, creativity and strategic problem solving skills. In the sequence of solving complex problems, the act of playing engages players cognitively and emotionally, and assesses knowledge where it is highly relevant to those problems' solution”, he says.


Jump Into Learning - New Developments

Project Columbia, the code name for a new experience being designed in conjunction with the Sesame Workshop Curriculum team, is a new environment where active fun and literacy meet.



Using Kinect for Xbox 360, Project Columbia invites children to use a more embodied learning approach to understanding texts by letting them jump into beloved storybooks and become part of the story themselves. Through full-body interactions, Xbox and Kinect bring the objects and characters in the books to life so that a child's playful interactions become foundational experiences for understanding the relationship between the words in text and their meanings, as well as their sounds. By letting kids jump into the books they read, "Project Columbia" seeks to develop in kids a lifelong love of books and reading so necessary for their literacy development.

Another new experience is called Double Fine Happy Action Theater, a title developed by Double Fine Studios' world-renowned game designer Tim Shaffer. It is a series of play activities that encourage the youngest players to practice their gross motor skills and stretch their imagination in active ways.


Designed to create an inclusive and highly accessible experience for the whole family, in Happy Action Theater, children, their parents and even their grandparents can play in virtual ball pits, firework parades and even lava-filled volcanoes all within their living room. The Happy Action Theater experiences are digital toys and playscapes that capture the imagination of old and young alike. No rules, no menus, no instructions -- just play.

Through these and other new titles, Xbox 360 is continuing to broaden its children’s portfolio with rich experiences that expand our definition of learning into something participatory and experiential.

2. Big ThinkerVideo: Katie Salen on Learning with Games

Katie Salen, active game designer, founder of Quest to Learn (Q2L), and executive director of the Institute of Play, talks about the value of games and technology and the empowerment of play.



A preschool teacher reminds K-12 educators of the benefits of bringing fun and play into the school day.

 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Siqur: The Best European Simulation Serious Game 2011


Serious Games challenging us to play a better future


Following my prior post Fun &Serious Game Festival Bilbao, organizers announced today that Siqur, a safety training module for industrial plants, has been granted the Fun & Serious Game Festival Award for Best Simulation Serious Game 2011

Developed by Virtway for Stanford University, Siqur is aimed at “producing a change in attitude and behavior regarding safety in hazardous industries”.

It is already being used by companies like Air France or Bureau Veritas, and the Asturias-based developer is working on applications to new fields, e.g. ports, as revealed by Virtway founder and director José Antonio Tejedor.
 

“In all customer satisfaction surveys, Siqur averaged 90%, whereas the same contents in a traditional e-learning format only reached 30%,” Mr Tejedor explained. “Using the Xbox 360 as the module’s device, the adaptation period has come down to 2 to 5 minutes, and the concept memory rate after a week is five times higher.” 

About Siqur Serious Game

Siqur combines the effectiveness of the immersive learning experience (learning by doing) with a simultaneous evaluation debriefing, tracking individually the different levels of the expected behavioral evolution.

Users can experiment in real time the consequences of their acts, in a familiar scenario or environment, increasing their exercise identification, motivation and interest, impacting not just what they know, but really what they do. It also emphasizes collaboration dimension to ensure adequate performance.

Siqur can be used by any organization wishing to develop and improve its safety skills and willing to change its workers mindset and behavior. It can be used for specific learning objectives as a full training solution, or as a complement to any existing program through a blended learning approach. Either way, Siqur is meant to reinforce collaborative training, by fostering team communication through knowledge & experience sharing.


In the development of this occupational risk prevention project, Virtway was joined by Estambril Group, specializing in the protection of workers in risk occupations, and collaborating experts like Robb Lindgren (Stanford University), Juan José Salamanca (leadership expert), Nigel Bryson (occupational safety award-winner, UK), and Deborah Thomas (Serious Games specialist). 

Virtway is an independent division of Indigo Group born to respond to the growing demand for Serious Games solutions. Based in Spain, Virtway is an integral part of a business group with over ten years’ experience in the development of business training software.

The company works with a team of specialized consultants and a multi-disciplinary team of computer engineers and 3D graphic artists with ample experience in virtual simulation platform development. They are working on two different projects: Personal Skills, aimed at providing personal skill training to workers –leadership, negotiation, conflict resolution, etc.–, and Virtway World, the first technology to create virtual worlds that are compatible with mobile devices (as well as PCs or MACs). 

The Best European Simulation Serious Game Award will be granted at the Fun & Serious Game Festival award gala at the Campos Eliseos Theatre in Bilbao on November 8

The Fun & Serious Game Festival is sponsored by the Basque Government and Bilbao Town Hall, with the cooperation of the Provincial Government of Vizcaya, VaDeJuegos.com, DigiPen Institute of Technology Europe-Bilbao, Virtualware, El Correo, and APD.