Three professors from the Open University of Catalonia, UOC, (Barcelona, Spain) argue that video games have value as education tools and as a positive means of communication in a new study. The study, "A report on media literacy in the digital game Experts in Europe," analyzes 18 European videogame applications in education.
Jennifer Ann's Group will be hosting a session at the Game Developers Conference next month about how video games are one of the most effective ways about raising awareness about teen dating violence and teaching prevention skills to teens and adults. The session will be led by Jennifer Ann's Group executive director Drew Crecente, whose daughter Jennifer Ann Crecente was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on February 15, 2006. Since then Crecente has been using his group - named after his daughter - to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of teen dating violence.
Raspberry Pi distributor Element14 has revealed the Raspberry Pi 2, a new version of the low-cost, barest of bare-boned PC computing solutions designed for electronics projects and teaching children how to code, is now available for purchase. And while the new system has better technical specifications and offers a more powerful computing solution, its price-point still remains at right around $35.
World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net has partnered with Full Sail University to launch the new on-campus Full Sail User Experience Lab. The collaborative effort promises to bring "state-of-the-art UX testing to over 5,000 play testers annually, and will include Full Sail students and graduates, as well as external members of the community." The Full Sail User Experience Lab plans to accomplish 100+ research projects per year for companies from multiple industries, as well as provide a project-based teaching environment.
A new study from researchers at the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York) suggest that people who play first-person shooters like Call of Duty have enhanced learning capabilities compared to non-gamers. Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says that FPS players are better at multitasking, performing cognitive tasks, have better vision, and focus and retain information better than non-players.
Lisa Rosner, a distinguished professor of history at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, has been awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a game about the early history of smallpox vaccination. The NEH has given professor Rosner $99,837 to create a game called "Pox Hunter," as part of a project called "A 3D Strategy Game for the History of Medicine." She is building the game with the help of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and digital learning game developer Eduweb.
Independent game festival IndieCade, and Museum of the Moving Image announced that they will partner for a third year to present IndieCade East from February 13 - 15, 2015 at Museum of the Moving Image. The Festival program includes a professional conference featuring panels and discussions headlined by prominent game makers, academics, artists, marketers, and journalists.
A new adventure book for children promises to teach them how to code using the Ruby programming language.
Published by No Starch Press, Ruby Wizardry is the creation of New Yorker-published poet, professional programmer, and former Codecademy content architect Eric Weinstein. The book (which retails for $29.99) follows the adventures of young heroes Ruben and Scarlet, as they learn programming skills.
The book promises to teach the following (according to No Starch Press):
Elegy for a Dead World from Dejobaan Games is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam for $15. The game is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, because it encourages players to write their own creative stories based on locations they visit and the people they meet within several locations throughout the game.
President Barack Obama has become the first sitting president to write a program. Promoting the annual Computer Science Education Week by participating in the "Hour of Code" event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, President Obama wrote a simple computer program using a few lines of code that draws a square on a screen.
"All programming starts simple," says Hadi Partovi, co-founder Code.org. Code.org promotes computer science education in the United States. "No one starts by creating a complicated game.”
With less than eight days to go That Dragon, Cancer needs a little over $12,000 to be successfully funded on Kickstarter. As of this writing the game has generated $72,513 of its $85,000 goal from 2,415 backers. Developers Ryan Green and Josh Larson turned to Kickstarter in November to fund the rest of the game's development. If successfully funded the game will released in 2015 on multiple platforms including Ouya, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
New research coming out of the University of Sussex in England suggests that girls may be better than boys in designing more complex story-driven games. The study conducted by Dr. Kate Howland and Dr. Judith Good - and recently published in Computers and Education journal - came to the conclusion that girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games and learned more about coding than boys did.
The University of Southern California (USC) Pullias Center for Higher Education has developed a new Facebook game called Mission: Admission, which aims to encourage low-income students to attend college by teaching high school students the importance of meeting deadlines and learning the application process of the college.
The latest episode of Because Science (from the folks at The Nerdist) applies real-world science to the life-destroying ringworlds in Halo - no doubt in honor of the Master Chief Collection being released this week for Xbox One.
In "How Could We Build A HALO Ringworld?," host Kyle Hill tries to figure out how one would build such a devastating device:
Auto News has a fascinating report on how the Chrysler Group has launched video games to help better train salespeople about its various brands. The automaker has created four different trivia based video games to help salespeople learn the finer points of its various vehicle brands including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram.
Senator Tom Coburn's 2014 Wastebook report is out, detailing all the tax payer-funded programs that the Republican Senator from Oklahoma thinks are wasteful or pork barrel spending. While he offers plenty of red meat for fiscally conservative types, we are really only interested in what game related items made the cut this year.
Gamasutra reports that the United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made gamification software it created available for free on GitHub under an MIT free software license, allowing programmers and the general public tools and assets to tinker with.
A new game from the BBC and BBC Doctor Who Interactive hopes to use the popular sci-fi television icon to teach young people how to program. The game, "The Doctor and the Dalek," was being designed to help children learn some basic programming skills. The game is set to launch on Oct. 22, and features voice narration from current Doctor Peter Capaldi, and a new story by Phil Ford, who has written for the TV show.
Robin Hunicke, the game designer and producer responsible for creating Journey at thatgamecompany, has been hired by the University of California Santa Cruz as Associate Professor of Art & Game Design. Hunicke will officially join the faculty in January 2015 and be in charge of leading the new undergraduate program in Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz.
Eidos President for Life Ian Livingstone has applied to launch a free school in England that will deliver lessons to students using video games. Livingstone told the BBC that he wanted to start a school that uses games-based learning and get away from what he called the "relentless testing" method used and most schools in the country.
"I'm passionate about children who have been born into the internet," he told the BBC. "I think they learn in a different way."
GitHub revealed that it will give free access to a suite of development tools that small-scale game makers may find useful. The only catch? You have to prove that you are a student.
The offer is part of the GitHub Education initiative, and is available to students over the age of 13 and currently enrolled in an academic program. If you can do that, you can get access to project development help and tools like the Crowdflower crowdsourcing platform, a hosting plan with the DNSimple DNS management service, and free access to Unreal Engine 4.
Mantis Digital Arts has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund an educational game about bees, with plans to launch it shortly thereafter. The game, Buzz Whizz Bees, is being developed for web browsers, Android, Ouya, and iOS - and will sell for $2.99.
The game is being designed to help teachers and parents introduce children ages four to eight to the interesting world of bees by letting them play "as a varying range of different bee species, enabling them to comprehend bee behavior by gathering food, scouting for new food sources and defending the hive."
The New York Academy of Sciences will be keeping an eye on players of the upcoming online science education game Galxyz when it launches in 2015. The inspirations for developing an online educational game for children that teaches STEM education (for kindergartners to 12th graders) came from a father watching his young daughters quickly getting bored while playing science education games. He wanted to create something a bit more challenging, and ultimately more effective.
Riot Games announced that the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) is ready to kick off its 2014-2015 season. The NCAC is a League of Legends collegiate competition featuring hundreds of teams from universities across the U.S. and Canada. Last year 540 teams from over 300 universities competed for a chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
The 2014-2015 NCAC competition will now span the entire academic year and North America has been divided into four new regional brackets: North, South, East, and West.
Rovio has teamed up with Room to Read, a non-profit literacy advocacy group whose goal is to promote reading and gender equality in Asia and Africa. For the next two weeks Rovio will offer a "Good Deed" coin as an in-game purchase for Angry Birds Epic. Rovio will donate $1.40 from each $3.99 purchase to Room to Read to help drive its initiatives abroad.
Educational game company Tangible Play has generated around $2 million in pre-orders for Osmo, its educational game platform for iPad, according to Gamasutra. The accessory kit, which retails for around $49, is shipping to to preorder customers - including more than 2,000 schools. Tangible Play is a Silicon Valley startup founded by former Google, Disney and Ubisoft employees.
According to statistics released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) this week, around 390 academic institutions across the country are now offering video game-related certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees.
As the ESA points out in its release, that represents a 50 percent increase over the 254 schools that offered video game-related education in 2009. While there are schools all over the country that are now offering these types of courses, California had the most with 73 schools, followed by New York with 26, and 24 each in Illinois and Texas.