Friday, February 24, 2012

simSchool: Serious Games As A Flight Simulator For Teachers

Serious Games providing challenging teaching scenarios that develop the skills needed for classroom success

Via: Pragmatic Solutions, Inc - NMC Horizon Report Highlights simSchool

“Open-ended, challenge-based, truly collaborative Serious Games are features of an emerging category of applications that are especially appropriate for higher education.”


NMC Horizon Report Highlights simSchool

The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) released the prestigious NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition (please find also Serious Games To Have Significant Influence on Higher Education)  naming simSchool as one of the examples of emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.

Westlake Village, CA, February 21, 2012) -- The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) released the prestigious NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition naming simSchool as one of the examples of emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.

simSchool was cited in the Game-Based Learning in Practice section, stating; “simSchool is a flight simulator for teachers that provides challenging teaching scenarios that develop the knowledge and skills needed for classroom success. Research has indicated that training time on the simulator makes a significant difference in a teacher’s self-efficacy and sense of the focus of control.” “The recognition of being included in the Horizon Report is validation that simSchool is on the path to making a real difference in education,” said David Gibson Ed. D. simSchool creator.

The report went on to point out that “open-ended, challenge-based, truly collaborative Serious Games are features of an emerging category of applications that are especially appropriate for higher education.” simSchool attracts attention in colleges of education, learning support centers devoted to faculty development, and in medical and legal schools for its possible application in a variety of human resources simulations. In its role in the preparation of educators, simSchool is the world's first and only dynamic simulator designed to train people in learning sciences, psychology, student relationships, teaching methods, and the knowledge and skills needed to reach all students.

Results of teachers experience are real, measureable, and include:  

·         improvement in general teaching skill
·         improved confidence in using technology
·         increased belief that the teacher has the skills and ability to make a difference in a child's life
·         improvement in pre-service teachers' performance in teacher preparation courses and attitudes toward inclusion of special needs students
·         significant positive impact on the mastery of deeper learning capacities that comprise the readiness to teach
·         increased "staying power" on the path to the field of teaching acquired through rapid development of strong self-efficacy and resilience.

In these ways and more, simSchool enables transformational experiences for teachers to help them become more effective leaders in their classrooms and learning communities.

To be a part of simSchool, please visit

About All Stakeholders:

About the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition

The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are part of the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. This volume, the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition was again produced in a collaborative effort with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, an EDUCAUSE Program, and examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the higher education environment.

For more information on the NMC Horizon Report please visit or

About simSchool and CurveShift

simSchool is a classroom simulation that supports the rapid accumulation of a teacher's experience in analyzing student differences, adapting instruction to individual learner needs, gathering data about the impacts of instruction, and seeing the results of their teaching. It’s a virtual learning environment where instructors can explore instructional strategies, examine classroom management techniques, and practice building relationships with students that will translate into increased learning. The students may be virtual but their very real behaviors are based on decades of psychological and behavioral research. The results teacher users experience are real and measureable, too, and include improvement in general teaching skill, improved confidence in using technology, and an increased belief that the teacher-user has the skills and ability to make a difference in a child’s life. Using simSchool has even been shown to improve pre-service teachers’ performance in teacher preparation courses and attitudes toward inclusion of special needs students. In these ways and more, simSchool enables transformational experiences for teachers to help them become more effective leaders in their classrooms and learning communities. The simSchool Modules project is funded by the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Wave 1 program of EDUCAUSE with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information on simSchool, please visit

CurveShift designs and distributes high quality digital tools and resources for K12 teacher and organizational effectiveness. CurveShift owns over $12 million worth of digital content, platforms, authoring tools and courseware aimed at K-12 teacher preparation and development. CurveShift's founders and their colleagues developed these assets over the past decade through government grants and contracts. Many of the products are already successful and in use across many industry segments.

For more information on CurveShift, please visit

About Leverage™ Adaptive Learning Platform and Pragmatic Solutions, Inc.

Leverage™ Adaptive Learning Platform was developed by Pragmatic Solutions, Inc. under military specs to support large-scale, simulations, virtual environments, and learning management systems. Central to Leverage’s capabilities is the ability to seamlessly manage millions of user accounts, collect terabytes of data, execute thousands of business rules, and deliver real-time analytics and feedback to multiple classes of end users without impacting the flow or delivery of content or game play. Leverage currently serves as the backend framework for programs in government, business, education, research, corporate training, and commercial entertainment. Tens of thousands of content objects, dynamic media tools, game scenarios, and user-specific items and messages flow in and out of Leverage’s centralized database and interfaces hourly to users in 40 countries around the world.

For more information on Leverage or Pragmatic Solutions, Inc., please visit

Pragmatic Solutions, Inc. headquartered in Westlake Village, CA, is a data modeling innovator with extensive organizational expertise in creating stable, scalable database and server architecture conducive to business information and learning management systems. Over the past decade, Pragmatic has worked at the leading edge of systems design, exploring how advanced data collection, inference and analysis tools can be used to impact performance, engagement, and learning in simulations, games, virtual worlds, and other interactive web environments. Pragmatic’s systems currently influence tens of millions of users’ online experiences around the world.

About NGLC

NGLC reflects a unique synergy resulting from the blended expertise, leadership, and credibility of both institutional and technology leaders who share a commitment to resolving the educational challenges our students – and the country - faces , and to expanding the adoption of proven innovations within timelines that will demonstrate measurable impact on the problems of the day. NGLC is led by EDUCAUSE in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Funding is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

For more information on the Phase 1 NGLC Program:

Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

AACE (founded in 1981) is an international, educational, and professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge, theory and quality of learning and teaching at all levels with information technology. For simSchool Modules, AACE will house "modules" created by participating partners in EdITLib, an open source library of education and information technology digital resources.

Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE)

SITE promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research, and professional practice knowledge through the SITE conference, books, collaborative projects with other organizations, and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. SITE (founded in 1990) is a society of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). During the simSchool Modules project, SITE will operate as a communications hub, both promoting the project to its global constituency of higher ed institutions and helping disseminate news on going progress and research results.

University of North Texas (UNT)

UNT is a student-focused, public, research university located in Denton, Texas. One of Texas' largest universities, UNT offers 97 bachelors, 88 masters’ and 40 doctoral degree programs within the university's 12 colleges and schools. During the simSchool Modules project, UNT will serve as the Research Center on Teaching and Learning with simSchool.


Boston-based FableVision Studios creates award-winning websites, games & activities, animated films, interactive graphic novels, museum kiosks, digital storybooks, desktop applications, and iPhone apps. FableVision is dedicated to helping ALL learners reach their full potential and to telling "stories that matter, stories that move." During the simSchool Modules Project, FableVision's team will help direct creative and business development toward improving user experiences and enhancing the simSchool brand.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aspire Awards: Serious Games Empowering Youth To Promote Social Change

Serious Games Market celebrating the work of young media artists from around the world

Via: Edutopia and Adobe Foundation - Introducing the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards

Adobe Youth Voices is the signature philanthropic effort of the Adobe Foundation intended to empower youth and educators through media making experiences that promote social change. As a part of this effort, the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards celebrates the extraordinary work of young media artists from around the world by recognizing top talent in media production.

Adobe Foundation and Edutopia (please find also Edutopia:How To Bring Serious Games Into The Classroom) invite you to participate in the Aspire Awards, giving young creatives the opportunity to have their work showcased publicly. this media festival seeks to recognize outstanding creative projects that demonstrate imagination and expression along with an evident motivation for social change.

How To Get Involved - Submissions Are Now Open! 

All media must be submitted for youth by an educator in the Adobe Youth Voices educator network or by educators who have registered to Adobe Youth Voices Essentials. 

The Adobe Youth Voices educator network includes educators who are affiliated with partner organizations. If you are an educator affiliated with Adobe Youth Voices through one of these organizations, please submit your media via the Adobe Youth Voices online community. If you are not part of the Adobe Youth Voices educator network, please submit your media via Adobe Youth Voices Essentials and receive free creative curriculum covering subjects from printed posters to animated video. 

Choose Your Format 

The Aspire Awards will accept entries in the following categories: Animation, Documentary, Audio, Music Video, Graphic Design, Narrative, Digital Photography, and Poetry/Experimental.

Media must be submitted by April 20, 2012, on behalf of a youth artist by an educator participating in Adobe Youth Voices. Prizes will be given to the top honorees, and their work will be showcased online, at partner film festivals, and other exhibitions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Serious Games & Sim @ I/ITSEC 2012: Abstracts Submission Open

I/ITSEC abstract submissions open with the official deadline approaching quickly.  Sim and Serious Games are welcome!

Abstracts submission for the Interservice/IndustryTraining, Simulation and Education Conference - I/ITSEC 2012 – will close this Friday.

As a prospective author, your chances of having an abstract accepted are significantly greater if you send your abstract to the appropriate subcommittee,

The subcommittee Simulation is about the science of modeling and simulation (M&S), welcoming simulation architectures or techniques, and the representation of synthetic entities or environments for use in simulation, training, rehearsal, Serious Gaming or analysis.

I/ITSEC seeks papers on the theory and application of M&S, including development work processes, technical challenges, lessons learned, and innovations associated with creating, interacting with and maintaining modules and simulation systems. Typical topics of interest include: the evolution of M&S technology; the use of hardware-in-the-loop; the interoperability of heterogeneous simulations; and the methodology used to create and present physical and behavioral representations of entities and environments within live, virtual, and constructive simulations.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Buzz Around The New Serious Games Association

Serious Games Association: Designed to support all professionals in the Serious Games community

There has been a lot of buzz around the creation of the new Serious Games Association, since its announcement on Feb 13. 

Here is a taste of it:

Via: GamePolitics  - The Serious Games Association Launches

“A new association has formed to help promote the serious gaming industry, aptly called The Serious Games Association. The mission statement of the group is to create an atmosphere where publishers, developers, technology providers, and those involved in the Serious Games sector can come together to advance their cause of using game technology to promote real world change or awareness on serious issues.”

Via: Gamasutra - Serious Games Association Opens Membership

Serious Games Association, a new international trade group serving the non-entertainment games industry, has opened its membership to students, developers, publishers, tool providers, analysts, and other professionals.”

“The association will cater to those working in the field of Serious Games, or game-like software for educational, corporate, defense, political, advertising, charity, or other non-entertainment purposes.”

Via: IndustryGamers - Serious Games Association Forms

The Serious Games Association is a new group that aims to bring together publishers, developers, technology providers and all those involved in the Serious Games sector. Using the Serious Play Conference as a backer, the new association will look to build a unique directory and platform for those that have a livelihood in games.”

“The new association has made it clear that the name is drawn not from the idea of creating Serious Games, but from developing ‘serious purpose’ in training and learning about the gaming industry.”

Via: Edge Magazine - Serious Games Association Open for Membership

The Serious Games Association, set up to support the burgeoning sector of Serious Games, which are designed for use in professional fields including healthcare and the military, is now open for membership.”

“As well as access to conferences and networking opportunities, membership offers a free listing in the Serious Games Directory, discounts on passes to the annual Serious Play Conference, product entry into the conference's awards, and more.”

“The SGA is also looking for "sustaining members," who will be more deeply involved with the association and automatically be made sponsors of the conference.”

“Standard membership costs $35 per year; sustained memberships cost $10,000.”

Via: - Serious Games Association Membership Opens

“A new association has launched for those involved in creating games for education and training.”

The Serious Games Association will host conferences, support groups and manage a blog and media site for those who create games with a purpose beyond simple entertainment. This includes simulations, corporate games, educational games, and those designed with a social benefit in mind. 

“It will also run The Serious Play Conference, which will take place August 21 in Washington.”

Via: Elder-Geek - Serious Games Association Founded

“A newly formed foundation is gearing up to raise funds and support for the serious side of the gaming industry. Less a stuffy elitism spoken between sips of tea (as they readjust their monocles and top hats, of course), the Serious Games part refers to making more purposeful training and learning experiences surrounding gaming and the industry at large. We’re still not 100% sure what that means, but hopefully the Serious Games Association’s raison d’etre will be more thoroughly explained as the group gets its foundation.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Get Ready: Serious Games Showcase and Challenge 2012

Serious Games Submission for the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge Begins in August

Via: Serious Games Showcase & Challenge - Get Ready for the Serious Games Showcase and Challenge 2012

Serious Games for Serious Training

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

Get Serious, Get Recognized! 

Submit your original serious games entry (PC Game or as a Mobile Game) and have your work reviewed by a panel of military, academia and industry gaming experts. Finalists will be showcased, and winners announced, at I/ITSEC 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Entries can be a PC game of a Mobile Game.

No Limits!

Whether you’re an individual, small business or big business – the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge is open to you!  Submissions can be targeted to training in any segment, including education, corporate, or military. If game development is your past-time (indie game developer), your intended field, or your current business; if you can create a game into a training solution consider how you would use your skills to develop a serious game solution to enhance training – SGS&C could put your work in front of some of the best gaming and simulation companies in the world.

May you have a question about entering or sponsoring, email SGSCHALLENGE at 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Serious Games Association Forming

New Serious Games Association to serve the exponentially growing Serious Games industry
 Via: Serious Games Association - New Game Trade Association
Serious Games Association Forming: Open to Publishers, Developers, Technology Providers, Consultants
LOS ANGELES – Feb. 13, 2012 – The Serious Games Association (SGA), designed to support all professionals in the Serious Games community with educational conferences, special interest groups, tools and training, is open for membership at
Programs and services for all market segments – education, healthcare/medical, corporate, government/military and games for good are in-the-works.
The Serious PlayConference (please find also Call 4 Speakers: 2nd Serious Play Conference, Everything About Serious Games),  in its second year, is being brought under the Serious Games Association. A Serious Games Directory, listing titles from all publishers; developers; technology and tool providers; industry analysts; consultants; and academic institutions with Serious Games courses as well as a data base of textbooks and other resources is in development. 
The Serious Games Association (SGA) will also publish research on the Serious Games Market, organize special interest groups (SIGS) and support a blog as well as media site that will carry industry news and new product announcements.
“Serious Games” refers to games or simulations developed for a “serious” purpose such as training or learning, as opposed to games created purely to be entertaining.
Individual membership in the Serious Games Association is $35 annually, which will entitle members to discounts on association events, access to profiles of games and Sims in the Serious Games Directory and other benefits. Corporate and Sustaining Memberships are also available.
Information on the Serious Games Association can be found at

Monday, February 6, 2012

Converting Cybersecurity Practice Into Engaging Serious Games

Serious Games building awareness around Information Security

Via: MAVI Interactive LLC - Agent Surefire: Breach Buster 

Agent Surefire: Breach Buster is a Cybersecurity Serious Game created for ESET USA - a leading security solutions provider for corporate, home and mobile phone users - powered by MAVI Serious Game Engine (please find also Serious Games Securing Sensitive Information), and deployed over the Web, Facebook and LMS.

The Serious Game, which is based on real-world Cyber Crime scenarios, immerses players in an adventure context that relies on a plethora of security breach situations to build awareness around Information Security.

Considering the enormous challenge of converting Cybersecurity and data protection content into engaging game experiences, Agent Surefire: Breach Buster has the merit of intensively train players on daily best practices while uncovering elements of the story, thus creating the aspired tension between acquiring new skills and enjoying game play.

The most impressive game element, in my view, is the intelligent data logging on player’s behavior that provides fully synchronous feedback on player’s successes, failures and hesitations, interactions with key objects, or simply lack of action in the face of breach-related events.

Game Background

MAVI Interactive creates Serious Games with a focus on regulatory compliance. MAVI’s Agent Surefire platform is designed to deliver both engaging content to the end-users and provide Business Intelligence to the client. 

MAVI’s expertise in converting relevant and essential content into engaging game experiences was put to work to create Agent Surefire: Breach Buster for ESET USA.

Originally conceived as an advergame for ESET USA, as part of its Securing Our e-City initiative, the game also provides free Cybersecurity awareness training to the general public.

Agent Surefire: Breach Buster Serious Game integrates ESET’s Antivirus software products and their role in protecting personal information, allowing players to interact with ESET software in a simplified manner.

The game has earned large industry recognnition, having recently received its 10th award.


Intended for ages 13 and up, Agent Surefire: Breach Buster is set in an office where a security breach has occurred and Agent Surefire has been empowered by management to stop the breach and uncover the perpetrator. 

You are the star inspector who has the will and ability to protect valuable intellectual assets against attackers! 

During the inspection Agent Surefire works with a support team "The Central", which helps discover that there may be more of the attackers than they initially believed.

You have to pay attention to all details, collect clues, and look for ways to gain access to supposedly secured assets, building a case against the attackers.

Along the way, in communicating with “The Central,” the agent finds out that the perpetrator just left the office and may be working with a notorious hacker on the outside named Cyrus.

As Agent Surefire, it’s up to you to find the criminal in the office, what has been breached, and any clues about the outside hacker. 

You also have the opportunity to report on all physical and online security violations, so that the office remains secured from further breaches. 

The game tracks what you’ve learned and what you still need to do, as well as how well you’re doing at picking out specific violations.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Serious Games For A Better World Contest: Deadline For Questions Today

 Build Serious Games For A Better World Challenge

Via: The Simulations and Serious Games Registry - WILL Interactive $500,000 Simulate A Better World Challenge

WILL Interactive, an international leader in creating custom educational Serious Games, kicked off the $500,000 Build A Simulation For A Better World Challenge on December 14, 2011 (please find also Serious Games @ Will Interactive: Play It Before You Live It Out).

The deadline for submitting questions regarding this challenge is today, February 1, 2012. All questions received will be answered, and emailed back to parties who have expressed interest by February 15, 2012, whilst the deadline for Entries is February 29, 2012.

“Basically, they are asking people to submit ideas for a full-blown educational Serious Game that, if deployed, would have a positive social impact. WILL will then put the top five submissions up to vote, build the winner and distribute it.”

Challenge Overview

WILL Interactive, Inc. follows a corporate philosophy of “doing well by doing good.”

A major component of WILL’s business philosophy is the company’s desire to create positive social change through the use of Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®).  In that vein, this Challenge is a call for entries for the creation of a VEILS® Serious Game to address a pressing social issue.

VEILS® is an immersive technology that harnesses the engaging characteristics of game-based video simulations to capture the attention of individuals at a level that leads them to positive action.  

How to Enter

1.   Read the Official Rules

2.   Create a concept for a VEILS® Serious Game  to address a social issue

3.   Complete the Entry Form

The Entry declared winner of the Simulate a Better World Challenge will be further developed by WILL for the production of VEILS® Serious Game based on the Entry’s subject matter. The development of the Simulation will be completed by WILL at its own expense.  It is expected by WILL that the development costs of the simulation would be valued at approximately Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000).

The winning Entrant(s) must actively participate in product development reviews and provide subject matter expertise for successful development of the winning simulation(s). Additionally, in order to help maximize the positive impact on the widest possible audience, proposals must contain a marketing and distribution plan that describes how the simulation will be disseminated and the Entrant’s prior experience relevant to the marketing and distribution of learning products.