Depression Quest, an interactive fiction game about dealing with the peaks and valleys of depression, has finally made its way to Steam this week. Available for free, Depression Quest is the creation of Zoe Quinn. The game was originally released on February 14 of last year, but had to wait until January of this year to get the "greenlight" from Steam.
Little Worlds Interactive has released its strategic tower defense game, The Counting Kingdom on Steam Early Access today. What's interesting about The Counting Kingdom is that the main gameplay mechanic involves solving math problems to cast spells.
In The Counting Kingdom, players jump into the shoes of a wizard's apprentice who must stop a horde of angry monsters from destroying the castle towers in the kingdom by using spells, potions, and food old fashioned mathematics.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Professional Programs unveiled a new academic course dedicated to the study of video game development. The course, "Interactivity: A Course in Video Game Design and Development," will be taught by video game scribe Marianne Krawczyk (best known for her work on the God of War and Prince of Persia series) and Sony Computer Entertainment’s Senior Manager of Internal Production, Whitney Wade.
In an interview with Medical Research, Lynn E. Fiellin talks about how video games are helping to teach young people about risk prevention related to HIV. Fiellin is an M.D., an Associate Professor of Medicine Yale University School of Medicine, and the director of play2PREVENT Lab.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), and HHF’s Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today announced applications are now open for the second annual ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The program provides minority youths with an opportunity to promote social change through video games, according to the ESA. The Fellowship program will award 20 people between the ages of 15 - 25 with grants to create video games or mobile applications which seek to solve problems that face their communities.
The Raspberry Pi foundation has announced that it has upgraded its cheap micro computer to a new version called Model B+. Described as the "final evolution" of the first-generation Raspberry Pi, the new hardware comes with two more USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader and 14 more GPIO pins for a total of 40 on the board.
Developer Pixelberry's High School Story, a game that took on the issue of bullying in High School, has set its sights on another important issue: teen boy image issues and eating disorders. A new version of the mobile game aims to provide "educational resources and professional support to the 20.2 million American teenagers who are unhappy with their bodies."
The Los Angeles Mayor's office and the Los Angeles Unified School District recognized over 150 students today who were certified through the Digital Living Project. The program focuses on online privacy and safety, cyberbullying prevention, and introducing students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based careers.
GamesIndustry International has an excellent article chronicling the plight of a female developer whose game was banned from Apple's App Store for depicting a sexual act. At first blush the game, HappyPlayTime, might sound like pornography, but it's more about education in a fun and entertaining way, according to its creator.
Playing computer games such as Angry Birds and Lemmings teaches children some pretty important life skills including concentration, resilience and problem solving. Professor Angela Mcfarlane, an education expert in the United Kingdom who has advised the government there on educational technology (she is also currently writing a book called "Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation") and will soon become the head of the College of Teachers.
Ukie, the trade group representing the games and interactive entertainment industry in the United Kingdom, announced that it has teamed up with Staffordshire University for a one day student and indie developer conference at the university's campus in Staffordshire, UK (College Rd, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE, United Kingdom).
A new study from a team of researchers in Buenos Aires concludes that letting young children play specialized computer games can lead to improved grades in school. A paper detailing the research was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers enlisted the assistance of 111 first graders in Argentina to determine if children who play tailored computer games could demonstrate what is known in the profession as "far transfer" of executive functions to the real world.
Most parents of young children will tell you that it is hard to get your children to brush their teeth regularly and properly without some prodding, nagging and constant reminders. Luckily, there's an app for that.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, Baylor Scott & White Health and UT Dallas have developed a simulation game that teaches doctors and nurses to work more collaboratively and to avoid conflicts that can bottleneck patient care. The game puts participants in tense situations in a virtual world so that they can learn how best to avoid those situations in the real world.
The Neurotechnology Industry Organization announced that the NeuroGaming Conference & Expo will return to San Francisco May 7-8 with a line-up of high profile speakers, new exhibitors, and even a gamejam to make this year's event memorable. In its second year, the NeuroGaming Conference focuses on the convergence of mind and body with game play using all kinds of cutting-edge technology including virtual reality, neurosensing, motion and gesture control, augmented reality, haptics, eye tracking, facial recognition and more.
The Raspberry Pi Model B micro computer officially went on sale on February 29, 2012, selling around 100,000 units in its first day. Since that time the tiny ARM-based no-frills computer has sold over 2.5 million units worldwide. The system was designed as an affordable computing solution so that children and enthusiasts could get access to a computer that could be used as an affordable learning and programming tool.
Organizers of the 11th annual Games For Change Festival announced today an impressive line-up of keynote speakers scheduled to appear during the event scheduled to take place in New York City April 22 - 24 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Last month organizers announced that this year's event will run in tandem with the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. Headlining the Games For Change Festival will be academics, authors, researchers, and award-winning game designers.
Ubisoft this week revealed a new graduate program that aims to help a small number of graduate students get into the video games industry every year. The program's continuation is clearly dependent on how the first two years go and its effectiveness in picking and training candidates that will stay in the industry long-term.
Beginning in September of this year, Ubisoft will select two dozen applicants to receive paid graduate positions at its various studios around the world complete with salaries and relocation costs paid.
A new Kickstarter campaign for Space Pioneer seeks funding to bring to life a game that promises to let players travel to the farthest reaches of the universe, explore new worlds, and colonize them. But the most interesting thing about this particular game is who is making it and why it will likely feature a high level of realism and real science.
MomoCon, an annual Atlanta-based event dedicated to anime, animation, and video games is planning something special for its 10th year in operation: letting the community attend a free and publicly-accessible career fair. The career fair will take place Thursday, May 22nd, at the Hilton Atlanta from 12PM until 5PM EST, ahead of the official MomoCon 2014 event Friday, May 23rd until Sunday, May 25th.
After playing an educational video game for just 15 minutes children understood what do if someone was having a stroke, according to new research reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Researchers tested 210 9- and 10-year-old "low-income children" from the Bronx, New York, on whether they could identify a stroke and knew to call 9-1-1 if they saw someone having one. Researchers then tested the children again after they played a stroke education video game called Stroke Hero.
Yale University's Play2Prevent lab is using a grant from the Women’s Health Research at the Yale Pilot Program to create a game that teaches about effective ways to reduce HIV infections among young African American women. The team will spend this year working with groups of black teens and 20-year-olds to design a game that will be "relevant, entertaining and a model for future public health projects."
New research confirms what most parents with young children and the people that market all kinds of things to them already know: that there is a synergy between films, video games, toys, and books. A survey of more than 420,000 British school children found that almost all the most-loved books of 2012 and 2013 also existed as films, apps or video games.
The Ad Council, the country’s largest producer of public service advertising, has created and released its first in-house game called Toothsavers. The game is designed to encourage children to brush their teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day. The game was developed with the aid and input of Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation have announced the selection of the ESA Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellows. The organizations have jointly selected twenty minority youths to each receive a grant to further their development of video games designed to solve social problems within their communities.
Recently the Human Interfaces division of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California released a video on YouTube showing how game-related technologies like Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing hardware and Oculus VR's Oculus Rift headset could be used together to control a robotic arm remotely.
A brief report in the Canadian Press reveals that the Canadian military is keen to start using video games and video-game related simulations in the future to train its soldiers. In fact, officials say that games like Call of Duty will play an "increasing role in its training in the future."