Thursday, April 26, 2012

SimTecT 2012: Serious Games Showcase & Challenge Goes Global


I/ITSEC-SGS&C to encourage additional Serious Games contests worldwide
 

Via: SimTecT 2012SimTecT Serious Games Showcase & Challenge – Australia & New Zealand

The SeriousGames Showcase & Challenge held annually at I/ITSEC is now in its 7th edition and the quantity and quality of the entered Serious Games have both risen significantly over the years.  

Seeing more and more Serious Game development in the international market, SGS&C organizers have decided to encourage this trend while also increasing their exposure to the US market. Accordingly, SGS&C as of 2012 is encouraging additional Serious Game contests at key conferences across the globe, and offering their winners a guaranteed spot as a finalist within the SGS&C.  

The International Serious Games Showcase & Challenge inaugural event will take place in Australia & New Zealand at the upcoming SimTecT 2012.

Dates

 01/05/2012 - Finalists will be notified via e-mail

 20/06/2012 - 2012 Contest Awards at SimTecT

The SimTecT Challenge

A regional first, the purpose of the SimTecT Serious Games Showcase & Challenge – Australia and New Zealand is to promote Australia and New Zealand’s considerable and innovative development talent, and represent interactive Serious Game solutions nationally and internationally. SimTecT 2012 will be the first time that this competition has been run outside of the annual I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase & Challenge event with links directly to that event.

This is a fantastic opportunity for national and international exposure, with the Grand Prize winning entries automatically be awarded a place at the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge Competition held at I/ITSEC, Orlando in December 2012.

All entries will be judged by representatives in leading gaming, academic and industry companies in three primary areas:

·         Solution to a Stated Problem
·         Technical Quality
·         Playability/Usability
·         Innovation: Higher scores can be achieved in each of the evaluation   areas based on innovative approaches within those areas. 

Mobile: For games in the mobile platform game development category, they will be further evaluated on how well the game objectives translate to and utilize a mobile or handheld platform.

The Evaluating Committee will select one winner each from the Student, PC and Mobile categories. Winning games will be announced and recognized at the SimTecT Dinner on 20 June.

The SimTecT Serious Games Showcase & Challenge – Australia and New Zealand is hosted by SimulationAustralia and the Serious Games Consultancy in connection with SimTecT at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

Simulation Australia Background

In 1994 the Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) collaborated with industry and academic representatives on a Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) proposal for simulation-related research and development. While that proposal was not funded, project participants were enthused and decided to form an association, led by industry, to further the use and development of simulation in Australia. DSTO also hoped that such an association would manage a newly established annual simulation conference.

In 1996, after planning and negotiation, the Simulation Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) was formed. Its primary goal was to conduct an annual conference, which it did so. SimTecT is held in May/June each year. SIAA had a mission of advancing the research, development, and use of simulation technologies and practices in Australian industry, academia, and government. As SimTecT grew in size and interest in, and awareness of, simulation also expanded, and it became evident that being an ‘industry’ association was a limiting factor on growth and potential.

The Board undertook an extensive review of operations and future possibilities and in 2010 SIAA became Simulation Australia whose vision is to be the National Peak body for the simulation community in Australia, with the purpose of increasing the use of simulation in achieving organizational goals.




Monday, April 16, 2012

Whyville: Serious Games Inspiring Children’s Fashion


Serious Games as User Generated Content Set to Influence Children’s Fashion Worldwide
 

 Via: Numedeon, IncNumedeon Inc. and Topsville Inc. Announce Whyvillebranded Line of Tshirts Inspired by Children’s Own Avatar Designs

User Generated Content in Virtual World Set to Influence Children’s Fashion Worldwide

Numedeon, Inc., the parent company of Whyville.net, and Topsville Inc, a division of the major clothing manufacturer Jaclyn Inc, announced earlier this month the launch of a new line of children’s clothing inspired by avatars designed by the participants of Whyville.net, the premiere virtual world for learning (please find also  Whyville Game Design Contest: Serious Gaming With Game Design and New Report: Scientific Accuracy In Serious Games Stimulates Scientific Inquiry

“13 years ago, Whyville.net pioneered the concept of User Generated Content (UGC), when we built tools for our young users to design face parts and construct avatars”, explained Dr. James Bower, one of Whyville’s founders and CEO of Numedeon Inc. “As a result, millions of children have developed literally millions of face parts reflecting an enormous range of looks and styles”.

“As one of the largest manufacturers of children’s clothing in the US, we spend considerable effort each year anticipating the fashions kids want,” says Mark Nitzberg, CEO of Topsville Inc. “In Whyville they create what they want.”

While many virtual worlds and online games have focused on the sale of virtual goods of little use in the real world, Numedeon and Topsville have partnered to blend virtual and real world experience by translating the excitement and creativity of children in virtual worlds into real world products.

The first line of product is a series of Tshirts that feature Whyvillestyle avatars inspired by the designs of Whyville’s participants. Reciprocally, by scanning a QR code on the real world Whyville Tshirts, children can wear the avatar featured on the Tshirt back in Whyville. 

“The creative energy of the citizens of Whyville never ceases to amaze us,” says Dr. Jennifer Sun, Numedeon’s President and Managing Director of Whyville. “We designed these Tshirts with Topsville as a tribute to their creativity and imagination.”

The “WhyTops” line of clothing is available online at Whyville.net and in real world retail outlets including select Peebles department stores.

About Whyville

Whyville  is the premiere educational virtual world for children, embedding simulationbased learning in an engaging and safe collaborative gaming environment. For thirteen years, the site has successfully created an environment that engages its "citizens" to learn about life, while having fun.
 
In Whyville, kids play, socialize, compete, learn, design, eat, dance, govern and much more. Numedeon Inc., the parent company of Whyville, was founded by scientists from the California Institute of Technology who combined research expertise in learning and education with advanced simulation and virtual world technology to harness the power of the Internet to engage young learners. 

At greater than 30 minutes per log in, Whyville is one of the stickiest and most engaging of all virtual worlds (ComScore Media Metrics) and recently surpassed more than 7.5 million registered accounts. A testament to Whyville’s dedication to education and safety, the site has won numerous media and parent awards, including a Gold Award for the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA). 

About Topsville

New York based Topsville offers retailers a breath of children’s fashions that extends to all product categories, moving beyond its private label expertise into Branded and Licensed collections. They develop children’s wear for newborn through girls 716 and for boys, new born through 820 size ranges. With over 35 year’s experience, Topsville prides itself with being a leader in manufacturing and design of children’s apparel. Topsville is a division of Jaclyn Incorporated.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Simbound: New Serious Game For Digital Marketing Practice


Serious Games to experience online marketing campaigns in a risk‑free environment


Via: SimboundThe Digital Marketing Serious Game

Simbound, a Serious Game for digital marketing practice, is nearing the final pre‑beta testing stages. 

Simbound is structured as a bidirectional web marketing learning system, with 2 account types: one for professors and one for students. Learners will experience a real online marketing campaign in a risk‑free environment whilst teachers will be able to monitor progress and evaluate marketing decisions in real time.

Here is an Interview with Louis Havriliuc, Simbound Founder:

SGM: What is Simbound? 

Louis Havriliuc: Simbound is a Serious Game that allows the practice of digital marketing skills. By using a complex model and real-world search data, learners can practice and better understand Search Engine Marketing. 

The storyline is built around a regional insurance office that has started to promote its services using Baigoo – a fictitious search engine.  The novelty lies in the fact that it takes place in a no-risk, zero cost environment whereas with existing commercial solutions you cannot try out different strategies without spending real funds or risking brand reputation. 

The learning outcome includes understanding of online marketing dynamics and industry metrics. Students get in the habit of applying processes essential to launching and optimizing a full online marketing campaign. This, I believe is the future of relevant marketing education.

SGM: Who can benefit from the game? 

Louis Havriliuc: Anybody interested in learning more about how to promote their venture online. University students, Digital Marketing Agencies, Recruitment Agencies and other business simulation providers will be part of this growing framework. As online marketing becomes more competitive, managers and other decision makers will have to know which performance metrics to track while understanding the main drivers for efficient online marketing campaigns. We hope to open up new avenues for relevant e-marketing education for students and professors alike.

SGM: What are some future plans for Simbound? 

Louis Havriliuc: Simbound will come close to world-class marketing solutions in terms of User Interface Elements as well as options and results. This will ensure a smooth transition from playing/learning to working on real marketing projects. We consider including other internet marketing areas such as Social Media or E-mail Marketing in the game. 

Maybe down the road the game could turn into the real deal. Campaigns created by students could be exported to the ad marketplaces.  We are looking to expand the customization options of the platform in terms of game content so as to appeal to more business domains and situations and thus provide a most relevant learning experience. 

Digital Marketing (Search Engine Marketing in particular) can be quite complicated if you have no or little experience. What we want to do is create a smart system that can adapt to the learner, in other words to hone in on user progress and be able to provide tailored challenges and performance assessments. Already we have developed a model similar to search engine algorithms that are used to determine advertiser’s performance and costs paid for ads so this would probably be the next step. 

About Louis Havriliuc 

Originally from Romania, Louis Havriliuc graduated with a MSc degree in International Business at Leeds University Business School (UK), in 2009.

Louis has become a Serious Games advocate ever since he experienced his first business simulation course while at Leeds, thanks to his program director Nicolas Forsans who introduced the game-based learning approach.

Having been convinced by the experience of learning by doing, he has embarked on a journey to disseminate the use of business games for university courses worldwide.

His latest venture is Simbound – the first Serious Game to tackle digital marketing subjects such as Search Engine Marketing.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

e-virtuoses 2012: Serious Games Conference 4th Edition Launches


Building frameworks to measure the impact of Serious Games by discipline


Via: e-virtuosesSerious Games Conference 4th Edition Launches

Valenciennes, 23 - 24 May, 2012

Following my prior post e-virtuoses: Evaluating And Measuring The Impact Of Serious Games, organizers have announced the 4h edition of e-virtuoses International Conference on Serious Games, which will be held on May 23-24, 2012, in Valenciennes, France.

e-virtuoses is one of the main European events dedicated to Serious Games. Organized by the CCI Grand Hainaut, the two-day conference will showcase demonstrations and exchanges between sponsors, creators, game designers, researchers and scientists.

The 2012 edition proposes an ambitious program aimed at:

• Understanding Serious Games
• Bringing solutions to the Enterprise
• Choosing the appropriate solution / technology

• Studying the impact of Serious Games
• Identifying new trends

• Promoting an exchange space for sponsors, studios and researchers

This year’s conference offers 24 sessions addressing 4 themes: 

• Communication & Marketing
• Training & Education
• Risk & Crisis Management
• Evaluation & Measurement

As anticipated in my post e-virtuoses: Evaluating And Measuring The Impact Of Serious Games, the conference is offering a scientific symposium that aims at projecting conceptual frameworks to evaluate and measure the impact of Serious Games, and also to report on factual results from a scientific point of view.

e-virtuoses 2012 will present for the second time the e-virtuoses Awards, which will reward the best Serious Games in 4 categories:

Completed Serious Games

• Communication and Marketing
• Training and Education/
• Risk and Crisis Management

Serious Games In Production

• The best Serious Game project addressing any theme

Registration for the e-virtuoses Awards 2012 is open by the 1st of May. A pre-selection committee will meet after the registration deadline in order to select the 4 best Serious Games in each category. The selected 16 Serious Games will be invited to audition to the jury on May 23rd at the Digital Workshops in Valenciennes. The e-virtuoses Awards 2012 ceremony will take place on the same evening.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A New School For Serious Games Executives


Serious Games professionals will soon have a student talent pool to recruit from


Via: Ludus Academie - Ouverture de Ludus Académie

Formerly described as a trend phenomenon by its detractors, Serious Games have now become more accessible and established. As a proof of its lasting establishment, a school dedicated to the education of soon-to-be Serious Games executives just opened (please find also MSU Serious Game Design Masters Program).

There is no doubt, 2009 has been a great year for French Serious Games, particularly because of the ministry call made by Nathalie Kociusko-Morizet. For the last three years, the Serious Games Market has been growing, so much that some see in it the main rejuvenator of education and teaching methods. In addition to the small number of pioneers, witnesses of this fast growth, numerous newcomers more or less specialized have invested the field. 

Apparently a new step has been taken with the creation of a Serious Game specialized video game school. Its name: Ludus Academie. Starting in Novembre 2012 in Strasbourg, student from A level to Bachelor degree will be welcome to train to work in the Serious Games segment. Apprentice creators will be able to discover the complete range of techniques necessary to design games: the course programme mixes “high computer technical skills (programming, Artificial Intelligence, game engines,…) with bases on game conception (game & level design) as well as narrative art.

A good initiative, Serious Games professionals will certainly appreciate to have a student talent pool to recruit from.

Visit the school website at http://www.ludus-academie.fr/index.php