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.
Game CoLab, a community advocate for video game developers in Arizona, has launched a new game studio incubator program established with the help of an economic development grant from the City of Phoenix. The incubator program will run through 2014, with Game CoLab bringing in four teams for the first year of the program.
"Twenty Years after Doom: John Carmack on the Future of Engineering Virtual Worlds," a talk featuring former id Software co-founder and Oculus CTO John Carmack, will take place at Southern Methodist University's Lyle School of Engineering on April 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM (Caruth Hall Ground Auditorium) in Dallas Texas.
Here's more about the talk from organizers:
New research coming out of Iowa State University (can you guess where this is going to go?) suggests that children who play violent video games will have more aggressive behavior and keep aggressive thoughts regardless of age, gender or parental involvement.
The research results are based on a three-year longitudinal panel study that surveyed (on an annual basis) 3,034 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore. The study notes that the beginning of the survey period participants were in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades.
Using worldwide scholastic results, researchers at Flinders University in South Australia have come to the conclusion that video games do not have a negative impact on the academic performance of adolescents.
Researchers analyzed data from than 192,000 students in 22 countries and found that academic performance and concentration among teenagers were not impacted by video game play.
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.
GameStop announced today that it has entered into a partnership with researchers from the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and IBM.
IBM will provide the video games retailer with its BlueMix could platform, which will allow GameStop to "incorporate new mobile and cloud apps with previously existing systems, creating an enhanced atmosphere for customer interaction online and in-store."
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.