The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in cooperation with California Attorney General Kamala Harris and education technology company EverFi have announced a new online educational program for Los Angeles public high schools. Called "The ESA Digital Living Project, the new program will be powered by EverFi's education technology. The goal is to help educate students in L.A. using technology, instructional designs, simulations, and other forms of complimentary media.
Organizers of the annual National STEM Video Game Challenge - Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media announced today that student submissions of original video games and game designs is now opened at www.stemchallenge.org. In its third year, the annual challenge hopes to inspire and motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by tapping into students’ enthusiasm for playing and making video games.
Angry birds, meet real-life science. The John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida announced that it plans to open up a special attraction based on Rovio's number one franchise later this spring.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has launched a new program called the College Game Competition. Open to college students earning an education at colleges and universities with computer and video game development programs, the College Game Competition charges students and colleges to work together to submit a game that represents their school. Competing schools submit story details and content assets from their playable video game, which will then be judged by a specially selected panel of "game industry veterans and media professionals."
Emergency room simulation On Call has won "Best in Show" at the Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase at the 2013 SSIH International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare in Orlando, Florida. The game was developed jointly by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Becker College, and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute.
iD Tech Camps announced today that it is adding two video games as educational tools for students ages 7 - 18 years old as part of this year's summer camps. iD Tech Camps is a summer program that teaches the fundamentals of STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - to children in a fun and engaging way.
Ukie, the interactive entertainment trade group in the UK, has issued a statement today praising a move to have computer science accepted as part of the English Baccalaureate in the United Kingdom's educational system. The group called the move a "major win in addressing the skills issues faced by the games industry."
Google will donate 15,000 Raspberry Pi computers to various schools in the United Kingdom, reports Develop. The massive donation is part of an initiative to stimulate a new generation of computer scientists in the region. The partnership was announced at Chesterton Community College in Cambridge, where students were given the unique opportunity to get a programming lesson from Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt and Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton.
The American College of Emergency Physicians announced the launch of a browser-based game meant to gauge the knowledge of families, children, and teachers on disaster preparation. The game, Disaster Hero, was developed by American College of Emergency Physicians using grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
EA, Maxis and the GlassLab announced an initiative this week to modify the new SimCity game to promote STEM education. EA says that the program is designed to attract students to "high-wage jobs in research, technology and game development." A new website dedicated to educators who want to use SimCity in their classrooms launched at SimCityEDU.org to get things started. EA says that it will serve as an online resource and community for teachers to create and share lesson plans that use the game as a centerpiece.
A recent profile of Mike Langlois, a clinical social worker in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of the eBook "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy" by Psychotherapy Networker (part of its Clinician's Digest III), makes the case for psychologists and mental health professionals to learn more about video games and even play them if they can.
UK-based film studio Pinewood is working towards launching a new school that teaches students about the creation and production of video games, according to Develop.
Ball State University (in Muncie, Indiana) professor Ronald Morris and computer science professor Paul Gestwicki have teamed up with graduate students to create a Unity-based game that teaches fourth grade students about the Underground Railroad (thanks to Polygon). The game is called The Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley River and puts students in the shoes of a runaway slave who must make his or her way to Canada where they can live a free life.
Around 180 students are taking part in a Minecraft based experiment at the Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm, Sweden - according to GameSpot. The school has introduced "compulsory Minecraft lessons" for its 13-year-old students as a means to teach them - in an engaging way - about planning for the future and environmental issues.
Game developer Brenda Romero has been named the first "game designer in residence" at UC Santa Cruz. Mrs. Romero joins the UCSC's Center for Games and Playable Media to teach courses and work with students, faculty, and researchers on all things related to video game design. Mrs.
On December 29 The Pixel Academy will set up shop in the ArtsCetera on 212 Smith Street in Brooklyn to create a 21st century digital media lab for kids. Open house ALL DAY (10am-8pm) - Instructors will be teaching classes on a range of creative technologies and answering questions about Pixel Academy and their educational programs.
Pixel Academy, a New York City-based company founded by former Lead Game Designer at Nickelodeon (Mike Fischtha) has been conducting workshops for children ages 8-12 all over the city at locations such as homes and public libraries. These workshops teach children video game design, 3D printing, Arduino fashion design, and other fun technology based courses.
BerryBots 1.0.0 has been released for Raspberry Pi, Linux, and Mac OS X - with a Windows version "coming soon." Developed by Patrick Cupka (who some of you may remember from the Quake community as the sole proprietor of the popular web site The Void), BerryBots is described as a game designed primarily for the Raspberry Pi that teaches players the basics of programming. The game caters to novice programmers by letting them program a ship that moves around a simple stage, sees gameplay events, and shoots at other ships.
The University of Southern California will officially launch Mission: Admission Oct. 29 on Facebook. The free Facebook game is designed to help high school students in underserved communities learn the process of applying for college and financial aid in a fun and engaging way.
Rice University in Houston, Texas is using Bethesda's hit role-playing game Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim to help teach an English course about Scandinavian fantasy worlds. The course is called "Scandanavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim" and hopes to teach students about fantasy as a psychological concept and how it is important in gaming culture. Students will play certain quests within the game, read selections from Norse and Icelandic sagas and identify parallels between literature and the game.
The state of Minnesota apparently doesn't like free online education that could benefit its citizens. The state has decided to tell California-based online education startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents without first getting permission from the state and paying a registration fee. Coursera was founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, and partners with top universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants access to them.
The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (the charitable arm of the video game trade group the ESA) announced that it has awarded 30 would-be game developers scholarships for the 2012-2013 period. The ESA scholarships provide each recipient $3,000 that goes towards their education in fields such as 3D modeling, computer science, game art, animation, digital media, game design and visual effects.
Polygon offers a mildly interesting and inspirational story about how some favorite pastimes - soccer and video games - are being used to teach kids in the African nation of Rwanda about the importance of financial literacy. The game, Financial Football, is now in schools across the country and is being sponsored by the generosity of credit card giant Visa.
This Techland report details how a New York City school teacher named Joel Levin has created a version of Minecraft for schools called MinecraftEdu. Levin teaches second-grade computer classes at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City. He also runs a Minecraft club for high school students and has been incorporating Minecraft into his classes for the past two years.
Minecraft developer Mojang has teamed up with the United Nations to create a new initiative called Block By Block.
Update: We have added a brief statement from Professor Douglas Gentile below.
Next week Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile will be at the White House to discuss how video games can be used to enhance and improve education. He will lead the discussion on a special policy conference to be held at the White House on Wednesday, August 22. The policy conference will examine how games can be used effectively in the broadest sense to improve health, education, civic engagement and the environment.
Games industry veteran Don Daglow thinks American gamers have trouble dealing with failure in games. He claims that this stems from the American education system where children are no longer taught to learn from the mistakes.
"The idea of failure has been dramatically reduced," he said, adding that American students don't "fail" anymore. Instead they are "challenged." Daglow thinks European developers should keep this in mind when trying to design games that they want to succeed in the American market.