New research from Craig Anderson, a psychologist and professor at Iowa State University who is known for his anti-game research is making the rounds this week, but it is not going unchallenged. Anderson's latest research suggests that children who play violent video games "may experience" an increase in aggressive thoughts, which "could" lead to aggressive behavior.
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 Linux Foundation has announced that it will work with non-profit online learning site edX to provide an "Introduction to Linux" course free and open to all this summer. edX is governed by Harvard and MIT. This introductory class normally costs $2,400 and will be the first from the Linux Foundation to run as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). There will also be no limit to enrollment. The course requires no prerequisites and will take between 40 - 60 hours to complete.
AbleGamers Founder Mark Barlet announced during his SXSW speech this weekend that the first Canadian Game Accessibility Lab (or AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade) will be hosted by the University of Toronto. The arcade will include the "most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games," according to AbleGamers. It will be hosted by the Semaphore Research Cluster, which is part of the iSchool (Faculty of Information), on a permanent basis.
The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute announced that Boston-based independent educational game development studio Little Worlds Interactive has won the overall Grand Prize and the Serious Game Prototype category awards in its third annual MassDiGI Game Challenge for The Counting Kingdom. The Counting Kingdom encourages players ages 7+ to practice their math skills in a playful and engaging way. The Counting Kingdom has the distinct honor of being the first serious or educational game to win the MassDiGI Game Challenge Grand Prize.
A new teaching lab has opened at Abertay University in Dundee (Scotland). The new lab represents the largest in Europe and offers 30 new PlayStation Vita development kits, and stock of PS3 and PS4 dev kits. Students attending the lab have access to all of the hardware. The University has dubbed it the "Playstation lab." The development kits were given to the university as part of a partnership with PlayStation First, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Academic Development Program.
New research coming out of the University of Massachusetts’ psychology department reveals that casual game players get some cognitive benefits from playing games on a regular basis.
"Most of what we hear about video games concerns their detrimental effects on players. This study shows that people perceive many positive effects, even though the games can be addictive," said UMass professor Susan Whitbourne, who conducted the study along with undergraduates Stacy Ellenberg and Kyoko Akimoto.
Sony Online Entertainment announced today that it is now accepting applications and submissions for its 2014 Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. Through the G.I.R.L. scholarship program, SOE awards one winner with a $10,000 scholarship to be applied towards tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses at the winner's college or university.
New research (where video games were the central component in helping researchers formulate data on risky behavior) finds that people who engage in behavior that is risky like unprotected sex or drug abuse do so because that have little or no form of impulse control. Russell Poldrack, director of the University of Texas, Austin's Imaging Research Center, and his colleagues at the university analyzed data from 108 subjects who were analyzed using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner while playing a video game that simulated risk-taking.
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.
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."
Video games - particularly those that promote activities such as dancing (think Dance, Dance Revolution, or any Zumba game) can help women of all ages fight against incontinence, according to new research coming out of Canada and Switzerland. According to a study published in Neurology and Urodynamics conducted by Canadian and Swiss researchers, women suffering from urinary incontinence that added a regular regimen of dance exercises (using popular interactive video games) saw an improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is using video games created by Akili Interactive Labs in a clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients to see if it can help detect the early signs of the disease. Pfizer plans to conduct a clinical trial with 100 elderly participants with and without "the presence of amyloid in their brains, based on Positron Emission Tomography imaging," according to a company statement.
Teens who play high school sports like football that sustain a concussion should avoid texting, homework, and playing video games, according to new research coming out of Boston Children's Hospital.
Researchers say that teen athletes that have suffered a concussion while playing a sport recovered faster when they practiced "cognitive rest."
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.
A new study by neuroscience student Brendan Lehman at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada) has found that video games activate parts of the brain that are usually activated through physical activity. Lehman, who says he has been playing video games since he was a "wee child," hopes his research will counter the belief that playing video games can "rot a person's brain."
While tablets seem to be popular with very young children, some pediatricians and other health experts are expressing concerns that these devices may be interfering with early childhood development and may even lead to some children developing attention problems. Of course, the research on all of this is still mostly incomplete because the iPad and other popular devices have not been out long enough to determine what the long-term effects of usage among children really are.
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.
Two graduates from the United Kingdom's Univeristy of Lincoln will have their research highlighted and discussed during ACE 2013 – the 10th international conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology. Sean Oxspring and Nick Bull graduated with a BSc in Games Computing in September of this year. Bull currently works as an assistant web developer at Blue Box Software. His research focused on developing mobile games that use interactions in the real world as a lynch pin for gameplay.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) today revealed the recipients of the ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellowship. The 20 ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation Fellows were awarded grants for creating video games that attempt to provide solutions to specific problems in their communities.
On December 4, the Fellows will present their ideas to influencers and policymakers in Washington, DC after flying in on Southwest Airlines, the official airline of LOFT and HHF.
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.
Five students from universities in Canada were recognized on Tuesday night for research achievements that advance industry innovation, creating new products and services and transforming the lives of Canadians.
Each of the students received an award at the third annual Mitacs Awards Reception, held to honor the contributions of researchers, who have participated in Mitacs programs aimed at fostering research and innovation, as well as forging stronger bonds between academia and businesses across Canada.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center have been awarded a $4.5 million grant to study the effectiveness of video games and technology in creating more independence in young people suffering from spinal cord dysfunction and neuro-developmental disabilities.
While details on the study are thin, we do know that the $4.5 million grant comes from U.S. Department of Education's National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and will be doled out over a five-year period.
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.
Researchers at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab is researching how sexualized depictions of women in video games can make women feel like they are objects, and that it may alter their perception on myths related to rape.
"We often talk about video game violence and how it affects people who play violent video games," says Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford. “I think it’s equally important to think about sexualization.”