Thursday, January 24, 2013

Serious Games Building A New Paradigm For Language Learners


Play Serious Games with Friends and Become the Hero of Your Own Language-Learning Adventure

 
Following my prior post Serious Games To Build Competency In Ethical Thinking  and coming soon from the Learning Games Network (LGN) is Xenos, where you play Serious Games with friends and become the hero of your own English language-learning adventure.
 
Xenos is an online Serious Game where players participate in activities that support sustainable English language learning.
 
The expansive learning space immerses players in new contexts across a variety of colorful and engaging zones populated by other English Language Learners, Coaches, Mentors and Teachers.
 
Players will learn to listen, read, speak and write in English, while playing games.
 
Jumping Into A World Of Language
 
Players will meet the citizens and fellow visitors of Xenos on the pier, in the marketplace, in town squares, at the university -- everywhere! 
 
 
Introduce yourself to other players at the port
 
 
 
Bargain at the market until the price is right
 
Choose Your Own Learning Path - A Self-Directed Alternative To Traditional Coursework
 
Xenos' robust and standards-aligned learning system supports players across multiple levels, from beginners to intermediate and advanced English language learners.
 
Games and activities are mapped to task-based and explicit language learning frameworks created by instructional designers, offering an open-ended yet leveled learning experience.
 
While players are free to explore the game world at their own pace, those who desire a more structured experience can follow a specific learning path. Learning paths direct players to play specific Serious Games, complete prescribed activities and explore leveled thematic words and phrases tailored to individual language learning goal. 

 
With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, LGN team has been developing the game to support a diverse community of players through a new paradigm for language learners.
 
In its first release, Xenos supports Spanish-speaking English language learners. Over time, Xenos will support learning across a wide variety of languages.
 
Soon to launch in beta, Xenos invites Spanish-speaking English language learners in high school, college and beyond to become part of our early community.
 
Designers and Developers are also being invited to join the early developer community. As an open educational resource (OER), Xenos and its underlying Integrated Social Learning Environment (ISLE) platform enable game designers to contribute to the development of the experience.
 
Researchers are also welcome! The Serious Game design is nurtured by research across a variety of disciplines, including creative design, learning sciences and information technologies. Join the Xenos community and explore new ways of learning.





Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Serious Games To Build Competency In Ethical Thinking

 
Online Serious Games shaping the future of a new society

 
The Learning Games Network (LGN), established in 2007 as a non-profit spin-off of MIT’s Education Arcade and the University of Madison-Wisconsin’s Games + Learning + Society Center, released their ethical and critical thinking Serious Game Quandary in September 2012.
 
Last Friday, Quandary has become available on BrainPOP 
 
Quandary is a free, online game for players aged 8-14 that presents engaging situations purposefully designed to build competency in ethical thinking.
 
Quandary was developed by a team of experts across the fields of child development, social and emotional learning, moral development and game design. Scholars from Harvard and Tufts University devised a prototype that was tested for viability. Designers at the MIT Education Arcade and the Learning Games Network refined the game, which was produced by FableVision, an award-winning digital production and learning company.
 
Quandary is a unique gaming experience that puts players in charge of a colony on the planet Braxos, where human settlers are trying to create a thriving civilization. Players will have to consider urgent moral and ethical dilemmas that are integral to the livelihood of their colony. Each decision will have serious consequences for the settlers of Braxos.
 
In their interactions with other settlers in the colony, players must consider facts, opinions and solutions, just like in real life.
 
Though the game’s setting is a futuristic colony, the genuinely tough situations that players encounter are translatable to the ones they are likely to face day-to-day. The skills players develop while playing Quandary – such as critical thinking, perspective-taking and decision-making – will help them recognize ethical issues and deal with ethical situations in their own lives.



 
There are three episodes (scenarios) in Quandary. Each takes about 10-30 minutes to complete, depending on the speed of the player.
 
Quandary's registration system allows players to save their progress after each episode and return by logging-in at a different time. It’s not necessary to register to play the game, but the progress will not be saved.
 
Quandary received the Most Meaningful Game Award at the International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play 2012 at Michigan State University. 

Have a taste of it!




3rd Annual Serious Play Conference Inviting Serious Games Experts


Serious Play Conference - Everything About Serious Games

 
Via: Serious Play Conference - Call for Speakers for 3rd Annual Serious Play Conference

Opportunity for Professionals in Serious Games Industry

SEATTLE – Jan. 22 2013 – Submissions are now being accepted from professionals who create games or sims or lead game programs for the education, corporate, military, healthcare or location-based market to speak at the third annual Serious Play Conference

The annual gathering for leaders in the industry will be held August 20 – 22, 2013 at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash., just outside Seattle.

A new feature of the conference will be four pre-conference workshops on Monday, August 19 designed as introductory sessions for new Serious Game program directors, workforce and talent development professionals and K-12 educators and university faculty:

·         How to Integrate Games into the Classroom – created for heads of school districts, curriculum specialists and cutting edge teachers

·         Using Location-Based Games – designed for Instructional designers, museum education departments, non-profit organizations and entertainment destination professionals

·         Using Games to Grow Talent, Train and Engage Employees – aimed at IDs, HR and organizational development, military and government workforce managers

·         Building a Serious Games Curriculum – geared toward faculty of higher education institutions interested in adding serious game degree programs

Speakers at both the main conference and the various workshops will share their expertise and outline critical success factors in game design. Industry analysts will discuss the latest industry trends and how best to take advantage of current market needs.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

9 Locations For Global Serious Games Jam Next Week


Game makers around the world creating Serious Games for social impact in a single weekend


For the GlobalGame Jam event happening next weekend (Jan. 25–Jan. 27), there will be 9 locations around the world dedicated to making Serious Games for Change.

These dedicated game jam sites will give creators the opportunity to make games for social impact.

Along with a secret theme passed from the Global Game Jam (GGJ), there will be an additional challenge given from Games For Change (G4C) to encourage people to make games that go beyond entertainment.


Games created will be featured on the Games for Change's website, with the potential to be featured during the 10th Annual Games for Change Festival in 2013 (June 17-19).

Here is the full list:

USA:

Games for Change @ DSI (New York, NY) – Organizer: Ben Johnson
George Mason University - G4C (Fairfax, Virginia) – Organizer: Trey Reyher
MIT Game Lab - G4C (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – Organizer: Richard Eberhardt
The Art Institute of Portland w/ PIGSquad and G4C (Portland, Oregon) – Organizers: Will Lewis & Jeffrey Sens

International:

GameIS – Israeli game developers' association & G4C (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Organizer: Hagai Reuveni
Games for Change Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – Organizer: Michal Jakubowski
Global Game Jam Cologne & G4C Jam (Cologne, Germany) – Organizer: Katharina Tillmanns
Toronto G4C Jam (Toronto, Canada) – Organizers: Sarah Chu & Una Lee
University of São Paulo – G4C (São Paulo, Brazil) – Organizers: Ricardo Nakamura & Francisco Tupy

To register at these locations, please create an account at Global Game Jam Inc (GGJ) and then click on the link for the game jam you wish to join.

About The Global Serious Games Jam


Global Game Jam Inc. has partnered with Games for Change to celebrate G4C’s 10th anniversary and allow GGJ13 participants from all over the world to visit sites that focus specifically on positive social impact.

Through this partnership, GGJ site organizers are offered the opportunity to register their site as a G4C site, and invite participants to create innovative digital games that go beyond entertainment.

About Global Game Jam

The GGJ is the annual event of the Global Game Jam, Inc GGJ brings together talented individuals and teams from around the globe and rallies them around a central theme, for which they have 48 hours to create their game.

About Games For Change

Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Unlike the commercial gaming industry, they aim to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good.

To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.
 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Muzzy Lane Dials Serious Games to Eleven


Muzzy Lane’s vision of Serious Games lets students experience being anything - from civil engineers to marketing managers


Via: Muzzy Lane BlogIn 2013, Muzzy Lane Dials Serious Games to Eleven
                                                                                                   
In January 2003, Muzzy Lane was a year old. Beginning its eleventh year, Muzzy Lane is dialing Serious Games to eleven.

The company started with the bold idea that games were a valuable tool for learning, and Serious Games -- for purposes other than pure entertainment --could have a wide array of applications.

At the time the idea was met with skepticism by many. A mere decade later and Muzzy Lane’s vision of Serious Games lets students experience being anything from civil engineers to marketing managers. The company’s latest game, Practice Government in Action (find also Serious Games For Internalizing How Government Works), actually lets you be a member of the United States Congress.

GinA is the second in a series of subject-specific games that Muzzy Lane is developing for McGraw-Hill Higher Education (please find also The Practice Series: Serious Games From McGraw Hill)

The first game, the award-winning Practice Marketing (please find also Practice Marketing: Real World Multiplayer Serious Game ), puts you in the role of marketing manager at a backpack company. 

GinA takes the same approach, but for a subject that is critically important: government studies. A large majority of students must take some kind of basic government course, so GinA has the opportunity to affect a significant percentage of college freshmen.

“It was important to us that we properly simulate the various elements of government that students are required to learn about”, says Chris Parsons from Muzzy Lane Software.

GinA has already won several awards including the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge Adaptive Force Award and a silver medal at the Serious Play Conference. 

Muzzy Lane expects that as more classes use the game in 2013 they will get more specific feedback about what students are excited about and what they are learning from playing the game.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Serious Games As A Toy Box To Create Your Own Game


Serious Game unlocking freedom to play with your favorite Disney/Pixar worlds


Via: ForbesDisney Infinity Revealed: An Ambitious Cross-Platform Gaming Toy Box

On Tuesday, executives at Disney Interactive finally pulled back the curtain on Disney Infinity, a compelling gaming initiative that brings together the Disney and Pixar universes from the past, present and future (Please find also Imagineering 101 Lecture: Walt Disney Educational Serious Games)

Disney Infinity is a Serious Game that allows you to create your own world by unlocking virtual toys, characters, buildings, gadgets and more, and bring them into the Disney Infinity Toy Box where you can mix them all up to create your own game.



A first look at Disney Infinity's base, figurines and power discs | Photo: Jason Evangelho
A base allows you to transport figurines and power discs into the game worlds, but the worlds themselves are sprawling environments that encompass both a traditional story mode, and an open-world Toy Box

The more you play, the more you unlock, so the story never ends. It's up to you and your imagination - infinite possibilities, infinite ways to inspire players.
 
Disney Infinity unlocks the freedom to play with some of your favorite Disney and Disney/Pixar worlds. You can experience adventures in the worlds of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles and Monsters University; take on the role of Sulley, become Captain Jack Sparrow, or transform yourself into Mr. Incredible; solve puzzles, overcome obstacles and complete a variety of other quests.
 
Disney Infinity is a platform that will grow and diversify. It will be global and live across all platforms: Console, mobile, and online”, said John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive
 
John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, originally met with game developer Avalanche Software during production of the Toy Story 3 film. They pitched him a concept that involved a companion video game with a split personality: one half would follow the storyline of Toy Story 3, and the other half — a virtual toy box — would enable users to creatively play with the myriad of Toy Story characters.
 
Disney Infinity takes this concept and injects it with ambition and irresistible retail appeal.


A screenshot from the Toy Box mode of Disney Infinity
When the Serious Game launches this June, it will include 3 play sets: Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles. Each set will contain figurines from the respective films and tell an original story. But here’s where things get exciting: There’s an entirely separate Toy Box component that allows players to build their Superhero Headquarters, customize the Black Pearl and its cannons and crew, and effectively create entire worlds that can be shared globally with other players.

Moreover, each play set distinguishes itself with gameplay that compliments the characters. Each figurine — which can internally store progress and settings — comes with a separate “Adventure” for use in the Toy Box. Additionally, players will be able to transport vehicles and mounts from the game world into the open world Toy Box.

Watch the first official trailer for Disney Infinity, an exciting new video game available in summer 2013 on all major gaming platforms including PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Handwriting Serious Game Wins Prestigious Award At CES


Serious Game LetterSchool Makes The Art of Handwriting Cool


Via: San Francisco ChronicleSerious Game LetterSchool Wins Prestigious Award at Consumer Electronics Show (CES®) in Las Vegas

Serious Game LetterSchool, by Boreaal, turned one late December and on January 10, 2013 was crowned Best Younger Children’s App by the KAPi Awards at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES®). This is the cherry atop an impressive stack of awards and accolades the app has won in its first year (Please find also Serious Games For iPad Put Children In The Education Driver's Seat)

In the game, children practice the complicated art of handwriting without even noticing it’s difficult, thanks to a truly compelling gaming experience. The wide variety of entertaining games captures the attention and keeps players practicing their letters and numbers, over and over again. 



Though it is a newcomer on the mobile market, the Educational Serious Game has managed to reach the top of the App Store’s Education category—and to stay there.
 
Learning To Write Will Never Be The Same After A Child Tries LetterSchool
 
On the surface, LetterSchool may look like just a beautifully crafted handwriting game with a lot of flash and fun, but there’s a lot more to it.
 
Learning how to write is a tremendous challenge for young children. They must visualize and reproduce a huge number of complex letter trajectories and memorize dozens of related phonics. Letter sounds must be associated with words and numbers with values.
 
LetterSchool ensures that kids absorb all this knowledge as they develop the fine motor skills they need. This optimal preparation for handwriting gives them a head start upon entering school.


LetterSchool does everything possible to simplify the learning process. LetterSchool makes exclusive use of visual information to demonstrate letters. The Serious Game guides kids by providing subtle yet highly effective visual and auditory feedback when it intelligently detects that they need a hand. That way, young players are completely free to explore the mysterious world of letters, acquiring letter and number fluency in their own, intuitive way.
 
Achievements are rewarded with amazing special effects and every successfully written letter or number is recorded with a star in the menu screen. A complete set of stars provides access to the gold level, unlocking a whole new set of games. 

 

Kids learn correct letter shapes before having to worry about fitting them between lines. First all their attention must be focused on the letter shape and trajectory. This approach leads to fluent movements and, most importantly, to growing self-esteem.
 
Here is the full press release:
 
Amsterdam (PRWEB) January 11, 2013
 
Winning the prestigious KAPi Award Best Younger Children’s App 2013 confirms what Boreaal Publishers has known for some time: its LetterSchool app fills a significant need for high-quality educational apps for young children.
 
The KAPi Awards were presented on January 10, 2013 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES®). This is the cherry atop an impressive stack of awards and accolades the app has received in its first year.
 
In the past few weeks LetterSchool has appeared on several best of 2012 lists, and earlier in 2012 the app was crowned Best Educational Game in the Best App Ever Awards, Best Educational App and Best Mobile App for Homeschoolers in the About.com Reader’s Choice Awards and Editor's Choice Award in the Children's Technology Review—and that’s just the top of the iceberg.
 
Everyone is impressed by the game’s innovative approach to handwriting instruction, its outstanding quality and its high replay value. A non-exhaustive list of the app’s awards and experts’ reviews is available at LetterSchool.com
 
Collaboratively organized and produced by Living in Digital Times and Children’s Technology Review, the fourth annual KAPi Kids at Play Awards honor the best of the best in children’s technology. This year’s KAPi Award winners were selected from a pool of 712 apps, video games, toys and other commercial digital products designed for children, as well as individuals who have made their mark in the world of children’s tech.
 
Of the 10 awards, only two went to apps—one of them LetterSchool. The KAPi Awards panel of judges consisted of 13 journalists and experts in children’s interactive media.
 
LetterSchool has already been introduced into many homes, schools and therapy practices all over the world.
 
The game’s greatest achievement is that it creates a very stimulating learning environment, offering children a truly compelling gaming experience. The wide variety of entertaining games captures the attention and keeps players practicing their letters and numbers, over and over again. By doing so, children are practicing the complicated art of handwriting without even noticing it’s difficult. That is the likely source of the app’s success with not only children but also parents, teachers and therapists. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and the most frequent comment is a desire for the sequel. The continuous highly positive response underscores LetterSchool’s important role as an innovator in handwriting instruction.
 
Install the free lite version of LetterSchool, which will allow you to reach the gold level and test-drive the free-form writing game more quickly. Reporters can also request a promotional code for the full version. Feel free to ask for our media kit containing high-resolution artwork on the contact page of our website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

3D Serious Games Bringing Sense of Presence To Learning Experience


Serious Games leveraging presence-based learning 


 
Caspian Learning posted yesterday a must-read article titled Afraid Of What The Future Of Learning Holds? You Should Be! 
 
3D Serious Games for learning offer unrivalled opportunities for the introduction of more cost-effective synthetic, presence-based training in both corporate and defense industries.
 
Back in 2010, they talked specifically about the idea of Presence, and how a greater sense of presence in a learning experience could result in higher levels of performance and transfer. They also talked about how the levels of a learner presence experiences can be affected by a number of elements – sensory fidelity, avatar properties, level of interactivity, agency and control responses, and personal relevance.
 
According to Caspian Learning’s article “where 3DTV [has so far] failed to capture sustained general interest in entertainment, let alone learning, the Kinect has managed the complete opposite and succeeded beyond expectations. With its success, a renewed surge of interest in its application for learning and presence-based training experiences has emerged.”
 
“The US Army, for example, sees the Kinect system as a low-cost solution for smarter cockpits that track what pilots see or do and better enables them to react in real combat scenarios, whilst Doctors in London are using Kinect in keyhole surgery. Schools are adopting Kinect as a learning aid all over the world and developers are only now starting to create things specifically designed for Kinect to tap into this immersive potential.”
 
The Challenge of Value Creation
 
The article states that for those who have the skills and expertise of working with 3D Serious Games for learning, it offers  unrivalled opportunities in both corporate and defense industries in the introduction of more cost-effective synthetic, presence-based training. But, without hard-won skills and expertise in developing appropriate experiences, creating games that actually develop skills and improve performance is still a challenge for most developers.
 
An understanding of why and how players engage with Serious Games and of the factors that can influence and enhance engagement is crucial for the design and use of effective game- based learning experiences.
 
 “Fortunately, for those of us that have spent the last 10 years in the immersive learning/Serious Games industry”,  say the authors, “the fundamental aspects of learning science are still the most potent when it comes to creating valuable, behavior changing scenarios and that expertise allows companies like ours to effectively adapt to the ever-more frightening potential of emerging technologies.”
 
The article wraps-up providing a taste of what The Frightening Future could be and anticipating that the Holodeck experience is almost here.
 
CES 2013 - Is this enough presence for you?
 
The Oculus Rift has made waves in the gaming world as one of the most innovative VR technologies to be developed in recent years. Named Best in Show at CES 2013 by The Verge, the Oculus Rift takes gaming to an entirely new level.


Remember Microsoft's patented idea of projecting the bits of a gaming you don't see on your TV - the periphery - onto the walls and furniture of your living room?
The idea has materialized. It's known as IllumiRoom and it was shown in video at CES.


 
Read the full article here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Global Serious Games Jam

 
Game makers around the world to create Serious Games for social impact
 


Via: Games For ChangeGlobal Game Jam Announces New Games For Change Locations

On January 25-27 hundreds of game makers around the world will create Serious Games for social impact in a single weekend.

PRESS RELEASE

Global Game Jam Inc. (GGJ) announced last week a new partnership with Games for Change (please find also Serious Games in Latin America: G4C Festival 2nd Edition), to celebrate G4C’s 10th anniversary and allow GGJ13 participants from all over the world to visit sites that focus specifically on positive social impact.

Jesse Schell, renowned game designer, author and Carnegie Mellon Professor will deliver a special video keynote to launch this unique effort on January 25th.

Through this partnership, GGJ site organizers will be offered the opportunity to register their site as a G4C site, and invite participants to create innovative digital games that go beyond entertainment. 

 


G4C has a purpose to raise awareness around real-world issues, promote learning, change behavior or recruit other players to support a cause.


GGJ has proven itself to be an incubator for innovative experiments and even new startups and products. We want to support a growing interest in game design to tackle and solve real-world problems through their creative work,” said Susan Gold, president of Global Game Jam, Inc. “GGJ is the place to test new ideas, collaborate, experiment and innovate.”

While GGJ will have thousands of new games created, we are excited that dozens of new positive social impact Serious Games will come to realization by the end of the weekend. Even more exciting is that these games will be highlighted on the G4C website and hopefully at the upcoming festival.

“This idea stands at the core of our mission,” said Games for Change Co-Presidents, Michelle Byrd and Asi Burak. “Imagine the impact of directing all of those creative energies over a period of 48 hours into making the world a better place using the power and engagement of games.”

About Global Game Jam

The GGJ is the annual event of the Global Game Jam, Inc. GGJ brings together talented individuals and teams from around the globe and rallies them around a central theme, for which they have 48 hours to create their game.

About Games for Change

Founded in 2004, Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Unlike the commercial gaming industry, they aim to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good.

To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Serious Games Preparing Affected By Autism For The Workplace


Serious Games  to increase employability of people on the Autism spectrum and related special needs


Via: iSpectrum Project

iSpectrum is an European funded project committed to the use of Serious Games as a way to increase employability of people on the Autism spectrum and related special needs (Please find also Serious Games As Autism Therapy)

The iSpectrum Serious Game is a result of two years work by a consortium that included Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute (SGI), and was funded through the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme.

Developed by Imaginary, iSpectrum simulates a job interview and the first day at work, allowing players to familiarize themselves with certain possible situations in a variety of work environments. Users are able to learn, understand and act out different social roles as an employee and carry out a series of tasks to develop employability and social interaction skills.

Dr Alex Woolner, Senior Researcher at SGI, said:

"The beauty of this game is that it addresses an issue that is affecting more and more people around the world. It highlights not only the challenge for individuals on the spectrum in finding employment, but also for employers to integrate people with unique skills into their companies. Hopefully projects such as iSpectrum can start to bridge this gap, developing skills and understanding on both sides."

Research shows that the percentage of employed people on the spectrum is very low in the UK, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. The identified reasons for this were poor communication skills, but also employers having little knowledge about the advantages of having an employee on the spectrum.

The game is designed for the end users and for the VETPROS working with them, as well as for potential employers to increase their understanding of the problem.

The Serious Game gives players the opportunity to experience three different jobs. Once they have selected a job, they can move on to complete a series of tasks.

Each job environment is structured into several sections:

Placement office - players meet their employment advisor who explains each job to them and gives some general employment advice. They can choose from Office Administrator, Supermarket Worker, or Commercial Gardener.

Interview –players meet their new boss and the buddy that will help them throughout the experience.

The Job - players face different situations typical to the chosen environment and are asked to complete associated tasks.  All of them have been developed in close cooperation with psychologists, vocational trainers, Autism practitioners and people on the Autism spectrum in order to ensure the environment and tasks are relevant and challenging as the player moves through the levels.

Upon completion of the game, players can go back and try a different work environment with a new set of challenges.

 



You can try the game yourself here iSpectrum
 
About Imaginary
 
Imaginary was founded in 2004, after winning the Start Cup prize sponsored by Regione Lombardia and Politecnico di Milano. The idea they presented was the use Serious Games for corporate training, marketing and social communication.
 
Research and innovation have always been at the heart of Imaginary activities and are an essential part of the company’s ethos. It is with this philosophy and attitude that the company actively participates in several research projects at an international level, collaborating with Serious Games Market main players. These research projects have given Imaginary the opportunity to establish collaborative relationships with different key stakeholders working in the same field.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update Converting Cybersecurity Practice Into Engaging Serious Games

 
Serious Games allowing trainees avoid cybersecurity vulnerabilities inside the workspace


Via: MAVI Interactive LLC - Agent Surefire: Inside Threat

Shortly after my post Converting Cybersecurity Practice Into Engaging Serious Games, , MAVI released Agent Surefire: Insider Threat, which is over three times larger and provides a more in-depth cyber security awareness training than the previous Agent Surefire: Breach Buster.

The new Serious Game has won the Gold Stevie® Award for Best Training Application in the app awards categories of The 2012 International Business Awards, plus 6 others.

First released in 2010, the Agent Surefire series of immersive Cybersecurity Serious Games allow trainees to practice—in first person view—how to notice and avoid cyber-security vulnerabilities inside the workspace. The Stevie Award-winning Agent Surefire: Insider Threat is the third chapter in this series.


Cyber Crime is an ever-evolving threat. Developing skills in identifying and detecting tell-tale signs of breaches help individuals to respond in adaptive ways. Agent Surefire: Insider Threat places the trainee in the position of a skilled inspector in a real-world cyber breach scenario happening in near-real-time. Common threat vectors are mapped onto the training objectives while more advanced threat vectors are laced into the scenario, providing a dynamic environment for engaged decision making and hands-on experience. Applied gaming theory and neuroscience of learning provide immersion, repetition, emotional responses and develop critical thinking.
 
The game is now a full scale organizational training tool with full behavioral data collection and reporting.
 
There are almost 300% greater Cybersecurity content compared to the previous version. There are a lot of more animated and interactive content in delivering the scenario elements which also deliver some of the training materials.
 
MAVI has completely re-built the environment and the scenario, continuing on the existing dramatic theme of Agent vs. Hacker, expanding the Agent Surefire “universe”.
 
The Bonus Mission breaks into three different story paths with 5 different endings, all depending on the trainees’ response to a difficult choice; “catch the hacker or save the data”. This game has also an original soundtrack recorded by a real 30-piece orchestra, (Skywalker Sound, CA) in the same fashion as console games.
 
Game Context
 
Trainees are asked to take on the role of “Agent Surefire”, find and categorize Threat Vectors and Vulnerabilities, and to stop an on-going breach from happening. The human-interest storyline keeps the attention level high, while the original score enhances the multi-sensory experience (MAVI has posted a teaser video on Vimeo).
 




The game content is run on the MAVI Serious Game Engine, which collects time-stamped behavioral information on each trainee, and provides training administrators with a clear understanding of each trainee's critical-thinking skills as well as identifying their weaknesses.



Bora Aytun, co-founder and CEO of MAVI Interactive, says: “Gaining critical-thinking skills is essential in securing an organization’s intellectual property."
 
“Cyber attacks are constantly evolving. It is next to impossible to keep up with all the new threats. We simply must learn to recognize the signs and avoid common mistakes. Cyber attackers always aim for the weakest link in the chain of defense, which is usually vulnerability caused by an individual’s day-to-day actions. Technology can’t always save users from making poor choices, so users must become aware of their direct impact in securing sensitive information.”
 
Adds Aytun: "Neuroscience today is teaching us how to deliver content in ways the human brain can easily absorb. Our mission is to make the highest quality experiential learning available to the masses. With our powerful platform we create highly effective training simulations at a fraction of the cost and time.”
 
About Bora Aytun
 
Bora Aytun is the CEO of MAVI Interactive, LLC, which he co-founded in 2008.  He is also the co-founder of MAVI Film, specializing in Internet/TV broadcast integration and B2B product development for the broadcast industry. Prior to that, he was IS Project Manager at Alpha Scientific Corporation.  In 1990, Aytun started his own consulting company, MAVI Consulting, serving a number of media and marketing companies in Turkey from 1990 to 1998. Aytun has a degree in Business Administration and Communications from Ege University in Turkey.
 
About MAVI Interactive
 
MAVI Interactive develops immersive training simulations and Serious Games. The company partners with industry leaders in training and education to create a wide range of engaging learning tools. MAVI’s partners and clients benefit from an award-winning gamification methodology and the MAVI Serious Gaming Engine and Platform to drastically reduce deployment time and costs in solving challenging training problems.