The United States Navy on Thursday revealed a training simulation game sponsored by the Office of Naval Research called Strike Group Defender: The Missile Matrix. Strike Group Defender is a virtual "demo space" developed as part of the Office of Naval Research Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) portfolio managed by PMR-51.
Stephen Mitroff, an associate professor and researcher at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, has teamed up with Washington-based game developer Kedlin to improve baggage screeners' ability to spot suspicious and potentially deadly items. This is being done with data collected from play sessions of "Airport Scanner," which uses vision and attention to improve skills on spotting things that are out of place in luggage.
A new game developed by Wisdom Tools in partnership with New England Research Institutes (NERI) hopes to teach children and parents about the importance of medical clinical trials and to dispel myths and misconceptions about them. The game is called "The Paper Kingdom," and is available for free via the website of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The Serious Play Conference announced today its line-up of game industry speakers taking part in its fourth annual event from Tuesday, July 22 to Thursday, July 24 at USC in Los Angeles. Speakers for this year's event include Noah Falstein, Chief Game Designer at Google; Trip Hawkins, Founder of Electronic Arts (and current CEO of Ifyoucan); and Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer of the City of Los Angeles.
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."
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.
Ryan Green announced that his game about the trials and tribulations of raising a child suffering from cancer is launching exclusively on the OUYA in 2014. Green says that he chose to launch That Dragon, Cancer exclusively on the Android-based platform because the platform holder has pledged to help with development costs and ensure that the game gets made.
The United States Navy has commissioned Organic Motion to create a Kinect-enabled simulation game that addresses the issue of rape. Rape and sexual harassment have been a topic of heated debate in Washington this month as lawmakers such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (supported by republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky) seek to move the oversight of rape cases from the military to civilian courts. Mainly Gillibrand is seeking this solution because the U.S.
Today at 10 am PDT (1 pm ET) Richard Garriott (aka Lord British and the creator of the Ultima series), and Uber Entertainment CTO Jon Mavor (creator of Planetary Annihilation) will take part in a Google+ Hangout to talk about virtual space domination, asteroid mining and the similarities between multiplayer gaming and crowd-controlled space telescopes.
Shipping and oil giant Maersk (made up of Maersk, Maersk Oil, and Maersk Drilling) has launched a game that allows players to experience the challenges of managing an oil company. Maersk claims that it created the game because the oil industry is "suffering from a lack of transparency and an employee recruitment crisis." One could argue that the game is the oil industry equivalent of "America's Army," in that it hopes to turn players into potential workers.
Organizers of the Games for Change event announced the dates and confirmed speakers for the 10th Annual Games for Change Festival. The special 10th anniversary event will take place over three days from June 17-19th at New World Stages in New York City. The Games for Change Festival is dedicated to giving "serious games" creators a venue to discuss using game technology to make the world a better place.
Organizers of the 2013 Games For Health Conference revealed two additional keynotes joining its slate of activities taking place in Boston, Ma. June 27 - 28. Palmer Luckey, Founder OculusVR will deliver a keynote address entitled "Healing and Health with Virtual Reality" which will explore the possible future uses of the company's virtual reality hardware in the medical field.
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.
A game that explores the Syrian civil war, Endgame: Syria, has been rejected by Apple for distribution on its App Store. A press release from the game's developer reveals that Apple's App Store guidelines forbid games that "solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity."
Serious Games International has hired five industry veterans to help the company create its slate of future serious games. SGI creates game-like applications that are used for real-world practical purposes such as corporate training... The new hires include Mark Stanger, Gary Knight, Paul Ranson, Felix Bradshaw, Mark Cottan, and former Sega executive Mike Hayes. Hayes is serving as the company's executive chairman.
Jennifer Pahlka, founder and Executive Director of Code for America ("the Peace Corps. for geeks") sent us some more information on the October 24th event scheduled to take place in New York City and some details on why they planned the vent in the first place. In case you are not familiar with Code for America, they are a group of web designers, programmers and other passionate geeks that work with local governments to create innovative solutions using all kinds of technology - including video games.
Students from various colleges around the United States are helping to design a mobile game for the Department of Energy that promotes and encourages recruitment into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The students are taking part in a virtual internship to create the app, which is supposed to deliver with challenging puzzles tied to the theme of linking buildings with energy resources. The activities that players partake in are meant to give them a general idea of what the Department of Energy does.
Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA worked together to create an online gaming system that uses players to help diagnose malaria. In the game, players distinguish malaria-infected red blood cells from healthy red blood cells by viewing digital images obtained from microscopes.
Epic Games has inked a long-term deal with Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA). The Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates creates collaborative interactive learning solutions for healthcare, federal systems, and corporate training markets. Virtual Heroes will use Unreal Engine technology to create interactive educational and training software to be used by various U.S. government departments and agencies.
A new association has formed to help promote the serious gaming industry, aptly called The Serious Games Association. The mission statement of the group is to create an atmosphere where publishers, developers, technology providers, and those involved in the serious games sector can come together to advance their cause of using game technology to promote real world change or awareness on serious issues.
The First Person Cultural Trainer (FPCT) has been awarded the Best Game award in the Government Category of the 2011 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge. FPCT is sponsored by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command G-2 Intelligence Support (TRADOC). The Serious Games Showcase was part of the Interservice/Interindustry Training and Simulation Education Conference (I/ITSEC), and was held in Orlando, Fla., from November 28 through December 1.
The 2011 International Serious Play Awards, which honors "outstanding corporate, military, healthcare and learning" software titles, announced that it has recognized 20 serious games. The medal winners were revealed at the Serious Play Conference, held August 23-25 at Redmond, WA's DigiPen Institute of Technology, as attended by Gamasutra. Air Medic Sky One from University Medical Center Utrecht won Best of Show.
Researcher Anita Lynn Furtner says that the best way to train for a crisis is to use films and video games. She said crisis management training needs a change and that it is time to do away with lectures and boring PowerPoint presentations and consider films and video games.
"You have a lecture, you have a PowerPoint and a knowledge check and, there, you are considered trained and certified. And, most likely, you only do this once a year," said Furtner. She wrote her dissertation at the University of Arizona about the potential use of films and video games for crisis management training. She earned her doctoral degree in rhetoric, composition and the teaching of English in May
"That's not what I call motivating or engaging, and it doesn't lead to any long-term recall," added Furtner.
Algoma Games for Health, a development team at Algoma University that specializes in developing serious games for educational and rehabilitation purposes, has received a cash injection from Ontario's provincial funding. The team will use the $713,200 to develop a game that will help stroke victims at the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. The news was announced by MPP David Orazietti. The program will combine video conferencing, voice recognition and therapeutic video games to provide an online platform to help improve speech therapy.
"We are continuing to build on the progress we have made improving health care infrastructure and front-line services in Sault Ste. Marie by making investments that are delivering measurable results, including this initiative that will provide stoke victims with interactive rehabilitation therapy to help improve their quality of life," said Orazietti.
Grants are now available from the National Endowment for the Arts grants for a variety of video game related projects. This is due in part to an expansion of the agency's Arts on Radio and Television category, which has been renamed "Arts in Media." The change expands the category to include mobile technology, digital games and a variety of gaming platforms.
NEA grants are available to help with various costs such as development, production and distribution and range from $10,000 to $200,000, based on the complexity of the project submission.
September 1 is the deadline for submissions, which can be made via the NEA site.
Source: Serious Games Source
Insurance company Aetna is banking on a new partnership with social game developer Mindbloom Partners that it hopes will motivate its customers to live healthier lifestyles. Mindbloom will deliver its game Life Game to Aetna customers. The game, which launched last July, encourages players to live healthier, more balanced lives by providing a variety of challenges related to health, spirituality, relationships, leisure, lifestyle, finances, creativity, and career.
Players grow and maintain a "Life Tree" that represents the life players want to have. As the player progresses, branches and leaves representing specific goals grow and they are rewarded with virtual currency to unlock new features and content.
DigiPen Institute of Technology announced that the first ever Serious Play Conference is seeking speakers to talk about creating serious games that help various industries and educational needs. The conference will be held Tuesday – Thursday, Aug. 23 – 25, 2011 at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington.
DigiPen says that its Serious Play conference aims to push serious game development to a higher competency – building games that deliver predictable results." They also promise that heads of corporate, military, health care programs, senior educators, top simulation and education developers, strategic hardware and software vendors and industry leaders will be in attendance.
The Department of Defense have developed a new simulation technology to help the Navy track enemy submarines and they are testing it by rolling it into a commercial computer game. The Defense Advanced Research Project Arm's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) software simulates tracking the evasive maneuvers used by submarines. The agency says that the software will soon be rolled into the ACTUV program's computers.
But the real kicker is who will get to test this new technique: simulation game players. DARPA has integrated it into the Dangerous Waters computer game by Sonalysts Combat Simulations and has made the ACTUV Tactics Simulator available online as a free download as well.