Friday, March 30, 2012

FBI And Other US Agencies Join Serious Games Adopters


 FBI Joins The Gaming World Via Unreal Games Engine For Training


Via: BBC NEWS Technology - Unreal Games Engine Licensed To Fbi And Other Us Agencies

Following my prior post Re-Pub: Serious Games To Teach Applied Forensic Science, BBC has just announced that The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is using the Unreal Engine to create Serious Games for simulating Crime Scenes.

Developer Epic Games and its partner Virtual Heroes described the deal as a "long-term" agreement to support the technology on web browsers, consoles and handheld devices.

Full financial terms were not revealed. However, a statement said that an agreement to provide the tech to one of the agencies involved - the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) - was worth more than $10m (£6.3m).

IARPA will use the engine to build Serious Games, designed to help intelligence analysts tackle instinctual biases that might color their findings.

Other planned uses for the "Unreal Government Network" include:
·         The FBI Academy using the tech to develop a virtual multiplayer crime scene in which its agents can carry out training simulations
·         US army medics practicing their skills on an anesthesiology training application
·         Weapons researchers using the engine as a "visualization tool"

Virtual Heroes has previously used the Unreal engine to develop America's Army 3, a first-person Call of Duty-style video game designed to promote recruitment to the armed services, and Zero Hour, a title used to help emergency service workers train for terror attacks and other mass casualty incidents.

Cost savings 

Virtual Heroes is developing the Unreal-based HumanSim to help train hospital staff.

The announcement follows a speech given earlier this week by Colonel Robert "Pat" White, the deputy commander of the US Army's Combined Arms Center-Training, in which he highlighted gaming's importance to the military.

"Every leader struggles with limited time, dollars and resources," he said.
"Those same leaders know it's better to practice something first before you do it for real in live training. Live training is where our highest risk and greatest expense comes from."

The UK's Ministry of Defense admitted in December that it was also looking to upgrade its computer simulation equipment. 

The leader of "Project Kite" told the Guardian: "Military-built simulators were state of the art, but now, for £50, you can buy a commercial game that will be far more realistic than the sorts of tools we were using."
 
He said he planned to recommend buying in technology from the big gaming companies as part of the solution.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Announcement of Serious Games Directory at SGA


 New  International Directory for Serious Games Industry Offers Free Listings for Titles, Tech, Services, Textbooks, Schools

 

LOS ANGELES – March 27, 2012 – The Serious Games Association today announced a new, international resource for developers, providers, analysts, educators and consultants: the Serious Games Directory 

All listings and access will be available free in 2012.

The Serious Games Directory will cover commercially available
o   Games and sims
o   Developers interested in contract work
o   Technology and tools
o   Consultants
o   Industry analyst firms covering the market
o   Academic institutions offering serious game courses
o   Textbooks and other resources

Games and sims will be organized by market:
  • Education
  • Corporate
  • Military/Government
  • Health Care
  • Games for Good
Serious Games Markets

 

Screens, photos and video can be added plus a link to a site for more information. The directory will be searchable by market, platform, developer, audience, topic and other terms.

Technology providers are invited to list engines and tools; design consultants, marketing analysts and text book authors can provide background on their services and a link to their own site for more information. 

Academic institutions can offer information on courses and degrees offered.  

The full directory of titles and services will be available online later this year.  A general description of all titles will be available free. Members of the Serious Games Association will have access to in depth information on titles and services.

To create a free listing, go to http://seriousgamesdirectory.com/

About the Serious Games Association

The Serious Games Association (SGA) supports all professionals in the serious games community.  Services include research, educational conferences, special interest groups (SIGs) and committees studying how to move the industry ahead.  Individual membership is $35, annually.




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Serious Games At Cultural & Creative IT Industries 2012


Serious Games presence at event dedicated to cultural creativity for a sustainable future


Conference Venue - World EXPO Center, Dalian, China

Via: Cultural & Creative IT Industries 2012Cultural Creativity for a Sustainable Future

The 1st Annual World Congress for Cultural & Creative IT Industries will take place on August 28 & 29, 2012 in Dalian, China, under the theme is Cultural Creativity for a Sustainable Future.


Over the last three months.Organizers have updated the program at http://www.bitconferences.com/cci2012/program.asp with the cooperation from experts worldwide. 

Under Session 3-4: IT for Computer Games, the presentation Current State of art in Serious Games,  by  Dr. Aristidis Protopsaltis - a research assistant at the Serious Games Institute

Dr. Aristidis background is in Cognitive Science, in the area of information processing theory and comprehension. He is currently involved in 3 European projects with focus on educational and training applications of Serious Games. Dr. Aristidis Protopsaltis is the caretaker of the mEducator, eVITA and MODES projects working with a number of European partners.

He holds a PhD in Cognitive Science and an MSc in Cognitive Science and Intelligence Computing from the University of Westminster, where he studied with a scholarship from the Greek Foundation of Scholarships (IKY). He also holds a BSc in Primary Education from the University of Crete.

Dr. Aristidis has also served as a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster, and as a teaching assistant at the CITY University London as, teaching various modules in the Computer Science and Informatics departments respectively. Furthermore, he was a research assistant at the Reading University in the department of Education, working on a Becta funded project investigating teaching expertise and use of technology.

He has published a number of peer-reviewed conferences and journal papers, and has served as a program and general co-chair at ACM SIGDOC conferences. He has also served as a reviewer at ACM SIGDOC conferences and the International Journal of Learning and Media.

He research interests focus on Serious Games and Education, Human Computer Interaction, Technology and Education, Usability, and Cognition and Hypermedia. His research is focused on how we can use Serious Games and how humans comprehend electronically presented information, how they process information, what strategies they use to locate and navigate information, and how they can complement their learning by using different types of media.

Personal website:





Thursday, March 22, 2012

Re-Pub: Serious Games To Teach Applied Forensic Science


Serious Games guiding players through the process of analyzing evidence and recreating a crime scene


Via: e-sembleKick-off CSI Serious Games Project
Via: Boston College - Virtual Forensics Lab

On 13 January, the kick-off of the CSI Serious Games Project took place in the Field Lab of the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI). This meant the entry of the project, which is part of CSI The Hague, at the NFI Academy (please find also Serious Games To Solve Crimes)

The kick-off of the CSI Serious Games Project is the start of the development of Serious Games for the CSI The Hague Project In cooperation with the NFI, E-Semble will develop a virtual reality training game to train forensic awareness that contains board game elements as well as virtual reality elements.

The learning objective of the game is to create awareness for the traces on a incident scene or crime scene. Furthermore, the game also teaches rescue professionals how to be part of the forensic chain. 

E-Semble is closely involved in the development en application of the board game elements as well as the virtual reality elements of the game for which several forensic scenarios will be developed. The pilot of the CSI Serious Games project will take place in May 2012.

The opening of the CSI Lab was an important first step in the project. The CSI Lab offers new possibilities for the training of forensic detectives in the police force. The CSI project, in which the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) collaborates with several partners such as TNO, Delft University of Technology and E-Semble, is a successful public-private collaboration in which diverse expertise is brought together.

Another example of Serious Games for teaching forensics is the Boston College’s Virtual Forensics Lab




The Serious Game allows students to examine a re-created crime scene


The Virtual Forensics Laboratory is designed to teach applied forensic science through Serious Games. Set in a three-dimensional game space, the lab enables students to both practice photographing and collecting evidence, such as fingerprints, blood spatter, and weapons in a recreated crime scene, and examines related case materials such as 911 calls, psychological examinations, and police interrogations. By guiding them through the process of analyzing evidence and recreating the events of the crime, the virtual lab helps student practice the critical thinking skills involved in deducing the motivations for crimes and identifying likely offenders.

Nursing professor Ann Burgess received an ATIG grant to develop this unique tool for teaching forensic science through game-based learning. In the past, she simply used manikins and fake blood to create a simulated crime scene for her students to examine, but her goal was to create a richer and more interactive environment for learning forensics methods.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Serious Games To Teach Applied Forensic Science


Serious Games guiding players through the process of analyzing evidence and recreating a crime scene


Via: e-sembleKick-off CSI Serious Games Project
Via: Boston College - Virtual Forensics Lab

On 13 January, the kick-off of the CSI Serious Games Project took place in the Field Lab of the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI). This meant the entry of the project, which is part of CSI The Hague, at the NFI Academy (please find also Serious Games To Solve Crimes)

The kick-off of the CSI Serious Games Project is the start of the development of Serious Games for the CSI The Hague Project In cooperation with the NFI, E-Semble will develop a virtual reality training game to train forensic awareness that contains board game elements as well as virtual reality elements.

The learning objective of the game is to create awareness for the traces on a incident scene or crime scene. Furthermore, the game also teaches rescue professionals how to be part of the forensic chain. 

E-Semble is closely involved in the development en application of the board game elements as well as the virtual reality elements of the game for which several forensic scenarios will be developed. The pilot of the CSI Serious Games project will take place in May 2012.

The opening of the CSI Lab was an important first step in the project. The CSI Lab offers new possibilities for the training of forensic detectives in the police force. The CSI project, in which the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) collaborates with several partners such as TNO, Delft University of Technology and E-Semble, is a successful public-private collaboration in which diverse expertise is brought together.

Another example of Serious Games for teaching forensics is the Boston College’s Virtual Forensics Lab.


The Serious Game allows students to examine a re-created crime scene


The Virtual Forensics Laboratory is designed to teach applied forensic science through Serious Games. Set in a three-dimensional game space, the lab enables students to both practice photographing and collecting evidence, such as fingerprints, blood spatter, and weapons in a recreated crime scene, and examines related case materials such as 911 calls, psychological examinations, and police interrogations. By guiding them through the process of analyzing evidence and recreating the events of the crime, the virtual lab helps student practice the critical thinking skills involved in deducing the motivations for crimes and identifying likely offenders.

Nursing professor Ann Burgess received an ATIG grant to develop this unique tool for teaching forensic science through game-based learning. In the past, she simply used manikins and fake blood to create a simulated crime scene for her students to examine, but her goal was to create a richer and more interactive environment for learning forensics methods.

PSFK’s Report Serious Games Overcoming Unsolvable Challenges


The Future Of Gaming Report addresses Serious Games that solve the unsolvable to achieve specific goals


Via: Interactive Multimedia TechnologyPSFK’s Future of Gaming Report [Preview]

SlideShare gathers  some superb presentations on Serious Games as covered on my prior posts Serious Games In Urban Planning For Playful Public Participation, PlayGen Journey From Serious Games To Not So Serious Play,  Presentation: Bringing Serious Games Into The Classroom and Serious Games Presentation With “A Taste Of” Game Play

PSFK’s Future Of Gaming Report (Summary Presentation) discloses key trends emerging within the gaming space that brands, non-profits and communities can leverage to build engagement and motivate their target audience towards achieving a desired goal or outcome. As a consequence, the report includes various examples of Serious Games in action.

Recognizing that there is a tremendous amount of research and study taking place around gaming, PSFK positions this report as a contribution to the conversation.  It provides a current snapshot into the innovative ways that Serious Games are being used within the broader marketplace, examines their expanding role in effecting change on an individual and societal level, and highlights the new technologies that are making these experiences possible.

According to the website, PSFK will be publishing the emerging trends in gaming that they came across after analyzing 800 data points, and speaking to the people behind key projects leading this change. Their research yielded 17 key gaming trends that sit within three broader themes- Purpose behind the Game, Mechanics that Drive People to Action and Game Functionality and Systems. This report presents the key examples under those themes.

Games and play are at the foundation of how people learn, develop and socialize. As humans we respond instantly to entertaining and engaging experiences. But what makes a game worth playing? What rules must it have? How should it work?

The report provides an overview of the key trends permeating the creation of games today. It specifically looks at how play is being used by organizations, corporations and communities to achieve a specific purpose. Fueled by the ability to gather many players across the world through online connectivity, projects of any scale can be undertaken, overcoming previously unsolvable challenges. When applied to socially responsible enterprise or charitable programs these collective efforts are capable of bringing about real change.

The mechanics behind games are evolving as social connectivity influences both the way and the pace at which people interact with one another. The nature of our modern online presence allows us to communicate, compete and collaborate with one-another in real-time at any point in the day. Driven by rapid advances in mobile and sensor technology, games are now able to bridge real and virtual worlds. They can now take place across separate realities that often influence each other, creating new opportunities for play and changing the way players experience their daily lives.

PSFK Future of Gaming Report [Preview]
View more presentations from PSFK

e-virtuoses Evaluating And Measuring The Impact Of Serious Games


Building frameworks to evaluate  the impact of Serious Games by discipline
 

Via: e-virtuosesInternational Scientific Symposium - Evaluate and Measure the Impact of Serious Games

Les Ateliers Numériques, Valenciennes, May 23rd 2012

On May 23rd in Valenciennes, e-virtuoses (please find also e-virtuoses: Serious Games Case Study Conference) are organizing a scientific symposium called “Evaluate and Measure the Impact of Serious Games” during the International Conference on Serious Games to be held on May 23-24, 2012.

The event aims at enabling the projection of theoretical frameworks to evaluate and measure the impact of Serious Games, and also to report on factual results from a scientific point of view. 

The impact notion is described here as the effect or influence that Serious Games generate both on users and the learning ecosystem. 

The event will explore Serious Games impact at the individual, social and institutional levels, so-called micro, meso and macro levels. Organizers intend to illustrate those three levels via a) the study of a Serious Game user feedback (micro); b) the interactivity between groups of users (meso), and c) the interaction generated by a Serious Game in an organized system of any size: institution, enterprise, city or county (macro). Those three levels may make use  of different methodologies, depending on the respective scientific metric.

The event overall objective is to create a fruitful context for a debate on comparative approaches to different  disciplines  such as sciences of education, information and communication, psychology, sociology, management, computing, neurosciences,  and Arts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FUTURE-MAKING SERIOUS GAMES On Google+ Pages


Updated Google+1 button graphics graduating to general public today



The updated +1 button  with the new look is rolling out to all users today, whilst the Google+ Badge allows us to connect our website to our Google+ page or our personal profile on Google+.


Here are all of them in action:







Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Serious Games Enhancing The Rehabilitation Environment – Update

Serious Games breakthroughs in rehabilitation medicine for balance and postural disorders


Via: MOTEK MEDICALBody Posture Serious Games

In my prior post Serious Games Enhancing The Rehabilitation Environment I had already addressed CAREN, MOTEK MEDICAL leading product. CAREN  (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment) is a multi-purpose, multi-sensory system for diagnosis, rehabilitation, evaluation and recording. It records a person's ability to balance and control movement. The system works in real time and enables the creation of a range of experiences in a controlled environment that can be repeated using the principles of virtual reality technologies.


CAREN systems always consist of a motion base, motion capture, a projection screen and the D-flow software

Body Posture Rehabilitation As A Serious Game

MOTEK MEDICAL offers powerful and flexible solutions for people with balance and postural disorders: by applying a Serious Games approach, patients as players achieve higher levels and scores as they perform well. 

The application illustrates well how immersion and motivation can enhance performance, specifically for patients with balance and postural disorders who are afraid of incurring pain during rehabilitation sessions.

In the Body Posture Application, the patient needs to mimic postures of a hollow avatar that advances towards him on a screen.

Therapists control a variety of input parameters for challenging postural stability conditions. They can increase difficulty and can also input how accurately the patient must move into the posture in order to receive positive feedback 

MOTEK’s Body Posture Serious Game challenges players to move and stand in different postures without making them conscious of the fact that they are being trained.


The whole scenario provides a positive game- like experience


Body Posture  was also the winner of the Dutch Game Awards for the Best Serious Game 2011.

The Dutch Game Awards showcases the achievements of the Dutch Game Industry, highlighting both the quality and quantity of games produced in the Netherlands. The purpose of the awards is to spotlight the achievements of the Dutch Game industry and to promote The Netherlands as a game development country to the world.
 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 National STEM Serious Game Challenge: Deadline Extended


  Serious Games to motivate children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM)



Following my prior post 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge Now Open For Entries, the nationwide competition, inviting students and educators to create original video game concepts and designs to motivate children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math, has just announced that the deadline has been extended until March 23.

Winners will be announced in late May at an event in Washington, DC.   Details on the four categories for entry and prizes being offered can be found at http://www.stemchallenge.org/

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media are very excited to see this year’s entries, with the success of two of last year’s youth winners taking part in the White House Science Fair held in February.

If you have any questions about the Challenge, please don’t hesitate to contact Jodi.Lefkowitz at sesame.org

About STEM Serious Game Challenge

The competition 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.

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.