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Showing posts from January, 2011

CNN Today On How Serious Games Can Make You Smarter

Serious Games as powerful learning tools

Via:CNN Today Filed Under Gaming and Gadgets By Scott Steinberg

Scott Steinberg’s today article How Video Games Can Make You Smarter special to CNN, focuses on four ways that Video Games can actually help make you smarter.

Steinberg addresses video games upside, stating that “contrary to popular belief, many build, not burn brain cells by requiring extensive problem solving, teamwork and dynamic decision-making skills. Also capable of building players' confidence and helping them see the world from multiple viewpoints, games can be powerful learning tools. At minimum, they readily encourage fans to fall on their face then pick themselves up and try again, promoting hands-on learning without the fear of ridicule or embarrassment.”

With no intention of being exhaustive, here is how he describes the four contexts that make you smarter.

Hands-On Experience

More interactive and absorbing than passive forms of entertainment like movies and TV, video g…

Upcoming XNA Gamefest Brazil Addresses the Serious Games Market

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

The 3rd edition of the XNA Gamefest Brazil - Microsoft Game Technology Conference, taking place on February 19th at FIAP - The Singularity University located in Sao Paulo, will specifically address the Serious Games Market in its Industry Track.

As the Brazilian Game Development Industry is experiencing significant and rapid growth, the industry track will focus on major trends for the upcoming years, Serious Games among them.

The event targets professionals and students interested in creating games for Microsoft ® platforms, PC, Phone Windows 7 or 360, including Game Developers, Media Artists, Technical Directors, Game Development Companies and Publishers.

GDC 11 Serious Games Summit Preview: Bunchball's Gamification Playbook

Serious Games driving player behavior and increasing engagement

Via:Game Developers Conference 2011 - Serious Games Summit

SGS Session: Gamification 201 - 60 Tactics in 60 Minutes [SGS Gamification]

Speakers: Molly Kittle (Bunchball)

Session Description: A look inside Bunchball's Super-Secret Invisible and Hard-to-Read Gamification Playbook - the tactics that they've learned from 4 years of implementing gamification solutions for companies of all sizes, and across multiple industries.

Takeaway: The answers to a lot of tactical gamification questions that you will encounter the minute you try to actually gamify something.

Bunchball's Background

Bunchball is a leading provider of online gamification solutions, used to drive high value participation, engagement, loyalty and revenue for some of the world’s leading brands and media. 

Based in Silicon Valley and founded in February 2005, Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures and Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Customers includi…

Serious Games Uncover Principles For Designing RNA Molecules

Online Serious Game Helps Unravel Secrets of RNA

Via: EteRNA - Played by Humans, Scored by Nature
Investigators at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University have launched an online Serious Game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules.
EteRNA was designed for non-scientists, allowing players to design elaborate RNA structures that go beyond simulations: players are scored and ranked based on how well their virtual designs can be rendered as real, physical molecules.
But the game doesn't end with the highest computer score. Each week's top designs are synthesized in a biochemistry laboratory. This lets researchers see if the resulting molecules fold themselves into the 3D shapes predicted by computer models.
In EteRNA you score when the molecule you've designed can assemble itself," said CMU's Adrien Treuille. Treuille is an assistant professor of computer science at CMU. He leads the EteRNA project with Rhiju Das, assistant professor o…

Serious Games Creating Cultural Experiences To Reinforce Language-Learning

Serious Games to immerse players in environments unique to each language's specific culture

Following my prior post Serious Games For Online Language-Learning, which covered the agreement betweenMiddlebury Interactive LanguageswithMuzzy Lane Softwareto produce an online language-learning role-playing game, here are some recent news about the development.

Muzzy Lane is partnering with MIL to create an innovative 3D language learning role-play game as part of MIL's online world language courses. The MIL courses will adapt the highly successful full-immersion formula modeled on the Middlebury College Language Schools for online delivery.

Initially, Muzzy Lane will produce versions of the game to support French and Spanish languages, and each version will include a rich 3D environment specific to that culture.

Students will interact with computer characters and each other in the plaza of a small French (or Spanish) city, and will be able to exercise their language skills in a variet…

Gamification As Consumer Oriented Serious Games

Serious Games mapping real-world onto a game environment

Via:Richard Carey Digital Media- Gamification is Coming. Are You Ready?

Richard Carey has just published a superb post Gamification is Coming. Are You Ready? (Please find also GDC 2011 Serious Games Summit: Gamification Day)

His opening statement - The debate about the use of gamification hardly started before being overtaken by tools, workshops and service providers all too willing to use game techniques to start up their latest digital masterpiece, while many in the gaming world are complaining “Not so fast!” - by itself could be a source of relentless discussion.

In this sense he also declares The Great Gamification Debateslated for GDC’s one-day Serious Games Summit segment this March may be worth the price of admission alone.

In his post, Carey tries to provide some perspective on what some say is gratuitous but others call an effective User Experience design.

The gamification wiki and encyclopedia to guide the uninitiated, a gam…

XAITMENT Turns Students Concepts Into Intelligent

A step forward for life like AI in Serious Games

Via: xaitment inc.

Following my prior posts XAITMENT Brings Emotional Intelligence To Serious Games, XAITMENT Incorporates Lifelike AI Into GIANTS Upcoming Serious Game, XAITMENT BrainPack: A Step Forward For Lifelike AI In Serious Gamesand XAITMENT Grows Into North American Market, here are some inspiring news from xaitment's monthly update.

xaitment Supports GAMES ACADEMY in Germany With Free AI Tools

xaitment is supporting students at GAMES ACADEMY with the free use of its artificial intelligence tools. While designing games and game features at the academy, students can use xaitment's tools to bring realistic and life-like artificial intelligence to their projects and games.

TheGAMES ACADEMY, with locations in Berlin and Frankfurt, is a specialized college for training in the areas of computer and video game production.


Founded in 2000, the GAMES ACADEMY™ was conceived to be the German-speaking countries' first college to spec…

GDC 11 Serious Games Summit Preview: Nike’s Gamification of Life

Serious Games influencing design methodology and practices

Via: Game Developers Conference 2011 - Serious Games Summit

SGS Session: Gamification of Life + Social, Serious Gaming + Behavior Change Psychology = Games for Good! [SGS Health]

Speakers: BJ Fogg (Stanford University Persuasive Technology Lab), Michael Kim (Kairos, Inc.), Ricky Engelberg (Nike Digital Sport) and David Reeves (Limeade)

Session Description

Several mega-trends are converging and are poised to profoundly disrupt the industry: Mobile, Social Games, Serious Games, & the Gamification of Life. Combined they present an enormous opportunity for companies, brands, game developers, & casual gamers. Together, they can empower entirely new Games for Good that integrate contemporary game mechanics with research-based methodologies, e.g., the Fogg Behavior Model, Behavioral Economics, Positive Psychology, Purpose-Driven Marketing, et.al.

This session will highlight the most recent trends, tools, & innovations that a…

GDC 11 Serious Games Summit Preview: Solving Real-World Problems w/Games

Serious Games mapping real-world and scientific problems onto a game environment

Via: Game Developers Conference 2011 - Serious Games Summit

SGS Session: Deeper Problems, Deeper Gamification: Solving Hard Real-world Problems with Games [SGS Gamification]

Speakers: Seth Cooper (University of Washington) and Zoran Popović (University of Washington)

Session Description: From the creators of the groundbreaking protein-folding game FOLDITthis session focuses on the creative process behind three games being developed at the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, covering the topics of biochemistry, early math education, and reconstructing the world in 3D.


Center for Game Science: Putting Science Into Games And Games Into Science

The world is full of important very hard problems that currently cannot be solved with computers or people alone.

Zoran Popović, the director of the new Center for Game Science, believes that a symbiosis of people and computers that leverages the compu…

Serious Games For First-Time Drivers

Serious Games for first time drivers to learn the rules of the road in the State of Vermont

Via: Designing Digitally- DriveVermont Complete!

Designing Digitally, Inc. was contracted by the State of Vermont to develop an innovative Serious Game for the Vermont DMV namedDriveVermont.

This Serious Game has been designed to help residents of Vermont learn to drive safely. The user friendly system was developed using a multitude of applications and mediums to form a visually appealing and interactive solution that helps potential drivers learn the rules of the road in Vermont.


The specifications for the project included accessibility features, as well as the ability for users with low bandwidth or lower end computer systems to access the training module.
With this in mind Designing Digitally, Inc. built a Flash based learning tool with text that can be increased in size, as well as audio which narrates all text within the modules. Upon anonymous registration and log-in which allows users to s…

GDC 2011 Serious Games Summit: Gamification Day

Serious Games and Gamification GDC 2011 Details 'SGS Gamification Day' Debate, Lectures

Serious Games Source reports that GDC 2011 organizers are targeting 'gamification' for a one-day Serious Games Summit segment this March, including a 'passionate debate' on the utility of the subject with Jesse Schell, Jane McGonigal and more.

The second day of the Serious Games Summit, taking place on March 1st duringGame Developers Conference 2011at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, will specifically address the emerging trend with both skepticism and insight.

As the advisors explain in the description, the day "will be devoted to the rising trend of 'gamification' – a debatable term and sometimes questionable process of building game-like incentives into non-game applications, to address issues like productivity, health, marketing, and so forth."


Here is the full SGS article:

The centerpiece of the day will be The Great Gamification Debate!, in which some o…

2nd Call4Papers: 5th European Conference on Games Based Learning

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education

This is a second call for papers for the 5th European Conference on Games Based Learningbeing held at The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece on the 20-21 October 2011.

Over the last ten years, the way in which education and training is delivered has changed considerably with the advent of new technologies. One such new technology that holds considerable promise for helping to engage learners is Games-Based Learning (GBL) or Educational Serious Games.

The Conference offers an opportunity for scholars and practitioners interested in the issues related to GBL to share their thinking and research findings. Papers can cover various issues and aspects of GBL in education and training: technology and implementation issues associated with the development of GBL; use of mobile and MMOGs for learning; pedagogical issues associated with GBL; social and ethical issues in GBL; GBL best cases and practices, and other related a…