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."
Wargaming passed along word that the Royal Air Force Museum has officially unveiled the German Dornier Do 17 and the associated Wargaming.net Interpretation Zone at its site in Cosford, Shropshire (England).
The ESA Foundation (ESAF) has awarded the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) at Becker College a $25,000 grant to expand high school student participation in the annual MassDiGI Game Challenge and launch MassDiGI 101, which the college describes as "a series of mini workshops focused on game design and development."
A University Campus Suffolk (UCS) computer games design student and a graduate are the winners of a prestigious national games award, much to the delight of the UK-based school. Brad Smith, currently studying at UCS, and former student Joe Kinglake, were the overall winners in the Walking Dead 48-hour game jam – held in October 2013. The two students teamed up to enter The Walking Dead’s ‘All-out War’ themed Game Jam where they competed with 140 other game jam teams.
In January, Code.org was offically launched, with the goal of promoting education in computer science and programming accessible for everyone. The organization founded by brothers Hadi Partovi and Ali Partovi, is pushing a new initiative today backed by a who's who of stars, tech luminaries and even the country's top Republican a Dmeocratic politicians. The initiative is called "The Hour of Code," and was kicked off today by a video from President Barack Obama.
The V&A Museum and Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland are working together to develop new ways to display video games in museums, according to a report in the Scotsman. The two organizations have formed a new research network to work on a project called Video Games in the Museum.
Playing education games cooperatively with others can motivate students to learn according to a new study from New York University. A study New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development found that when students played a math game collaboratively with another student it motivated them to learn even more, compared to students who played the game alone. The study also found that students' interest and enjoyment of the game increased when playing with another student.
GlassLab has released SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!, an educational game built using EA's SimCity to educate students in America about important issues. GlassLab collaborated with ETS, Pearson, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), and Electronic Arts to create the game-based classroom tool that uses elements from the SimCity franchise to engage students in real-world challenges.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that the ESA Foundation has awarded scholarships to 30 women and minority students currently pursuing video game-related degrees in the 2013-2014 academic year. The recipients are students currently enrolled full-time at accredited four-year colleges and universities across America.
GlassLab, a collaboration between Institute of Play, Electronic Arts, the ESA and others, strives to improve education through the use of digital games. The lab's first game, SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!,will be integrated into select U.S. school ciriculums next month.
New York news station CBS 2 offers an interesting report on the use of video games (Games for Change as we like to call them) to teach children (and adults) about the importance of empathy. "That Dragon, Cancer" and "Papers, Please" are examples of games that deal with subject matter that puts ordinary people in seemingly insurmountable situations. By putting players in the shoes of someone in such situations, experts say that young people can learn to show a bit more empathy towards their fellow man.
The University of California at Santa Cruz has hired Brenda and John Romero to lead a new program that inevitably earns students a master's degree in games and playable media at the school's Silicon Valley Center. Brenda Romero was appointed as the school's first game designer in residence at the Center for Games and Playable Media in January 2013.
Worcester, Massachusetts-based Becker College and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) have been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build the MassDiGI New Ventures Center (NVC). Becker College also announced that it will match the EDA grant, making a total of $2.8 million available to build the state-of-the-art facility.
Scot Osterweil, creative director at MIT’s Education Arcade writes an interesting article on Boston.com detailing a game created by the lab to push the idea of good conflict resolution. The game is called "Quandry" and it teaches players to resolve conflicts by better understanding the different perspectives of those who might be engaged in strife.
Over 250 digital media, entertainment, and learning experts and industry professionals are set to converge on San Francisco next week for the Digital Kids Summit and Digital Kids Education (Edu) Day taking place Wednesday, September 18th, and Thursday, September 19th, at the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum. The summits are spin-offs of Engage Digital's New York-based Digital Kids Conference.
Quick and Dirty Tips has released a new game for the iPad that promises to help users improve their grammar. The game is called Grammar Pop, and it is the brainchild of Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl podcast host and New York Times best-selling author. Fogarty helped develop and test the game using the Game Salad authoring tool.
The Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Bar Association announced support for promoting the use of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's educational video games in schools to teach students lessons about civics. Both the court and the association for lawyers in the state are advocating for the use of O'Connor's iCivics to teach children how various branches of government work.
Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the third-place winning video game from the 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge. The 2013 Life. Love. Game Design Challenge asked developers to create games that raised awareness about the dangers of Teen dating violence. Jennifer Ann's Group is a charity dedicated to the cause and named after Jennifer Ann Crecente, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.
NIS America has added some new characters to its educational iOS puzzle game, Character Chowdown. The in-game content, which will cost you roughly $0.99 a pop, includes characters from the popular Disgaea series such as Laharl, Prinny, Mao, and Flonne. Other downloadable content includes the Hiragana pack and seven different Kanji packs.
A Kickstarter campaign has launched for TJ's World, an interactive educational program described by its creators as "Mobile Kindergarten." TJ's World offers a cross platform, cloud based, "learn as you play" preschool and kindergarten in one application.
Game developer 1st Playable Productions is the first video game-related company in the United States to receive "B Corporation" (B Corp) certification, the company announced today. B Corporation status is a standard that measures the social impact of a company on the environment and the community it does business in. It is also the first company in NY’s Tech Valley (the company is located in Troy, NY) to receive the distinction as well. B Corporation certification comes from the non-profit B Lab.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced today that educators and academics can apply for PlayStation 4 development kits beginning tomorrow as part of the PlayStationFirst Academic Programme. The PS4 joins other kits made available to educators and academics including those for PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PlayStation Portable - as well as kits for PlayStation Home and PlayStation Mobile. These Academic development kits include access to PlayStation software and hardware, lessons in programming, computer engineering, and developing software.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media today revealed the names of 16 middle school and high school students as the winners of the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge. The competition was designed to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among students in grades 5-12 using video games as the creative medium of choice. The top original video games and game design concepts were chosen from 14 categories and nearly 4000 entries.
The University of California, Davis announced grants for vocational education, child poverty, international migration and the cultural impact of video games. All of these topics are part of the Interdisciplinary Frontiers in Humanities and Arts program, which will receive combined funding of $3.6 million over three years. The goal is to kick start new research that can go on to compete for funding from "external sources." The funding comes from indirect costs of grants awarded to UC Davis under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or stimulus funds.