The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of this year's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awards. The SBIR funds are earmarked for small businesses using "cutting-edge R&D" to develop technologies to solve tough problems. Half of those contracts are game-related in some way - either they are for games or use gaming technology in a creative way.
Organizers of The Boston Festival of Indie Games announced that game designer and producer Robin Hunicke will deliver the keynote address at this year's event to take place Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the Stratton Student Center and the Johnson Athletic Center on the MIT campus.
The Peter Thiel Foundation (founded by the former CEO and co-founder of PayPal) announced the third set of young entrepreneurs to be awarded 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowships. These new "Thiel Fellows" will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundation’s network of entrepreneurs over a two year period.
Four coding schools just for young girls and women are trying to change the number of females that program (and give girls more STEM-focused educational opportunities) in the United States - as highlighted in this ReadWriteWeb feature. The start-ups catering to women and girls aspiring to learn how to code include Girl Develop It, Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, and Girls Learning Code/Ladies Learning Code.
Three editorials offer just about every side of the New Jersey Governor's push to study and then regulate the sale of violent video games in the State. The first two are two different sides from a special dueling editorial in The Star-Ledger called "Do violent video games breed violent behavior?". The first one, "Do violent video games breed violent behavior? Yes " was written by Paul Boxer of Rutgers-Newark.
Dr. Patrick Markey pens an editorial for US News & World Report called "In Defense of Violent Video Games" in which he explains that, despite research showing aggression after playing video games, there has been absolutely no research that violent videogames actually cause violent shootings.
While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not let his children play Call of Duty or any other mature rated games, and even though retailers like GameStop and the ESRB work hand-in-hand to make sure his children can't even buy those games without some sort of identification to prove their age, it hasn't stopped the governor from convening a task force and proposing new laws that would require that parents give permission to buy the games children can't get their hands on.
A DePaul University report says that the Chicago game development space once dominated by titans such as Midway Games and Electronic Arts is now being mostly powered by independently owned and operated small to medium sized game studios. These studios are focusing on mobile platforms and social games, and many feature a mix of both industry veterans and newcomers trying to make a name for themselves in the industry while remaining faithful to the area.
Video game industry pioneers and USC alumni Kevin Bachus and Chanel Summers have made a donation to the USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) to help establish The Bachus-Summers Fund for Innovation in Interactive Entertainment. The donation was revealed today by School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) Dean Elizabeth M. Daley and will be used to create a fund for student support to be awarded to those who show initiative in the fields of interactive and immersive media.
Gustavo Zacarias of San Antonio, Texas was one of the winners of the2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge who joined a select group of students that participated today in the third White House Science Fair, an event that emphasizes and celebrates student achievements in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions. The National STEM Video Game Challenge is an annual competition presented by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media.
Dr. Daniel King, from the University of Adelaide's (Adelaide, South Australia) psychology department says that the definition of video game addiction has yet to be defined because of the model that most researchers have used - namely borrowing from the framework of gambling addiction. He believes that treatments of the addiction to games could be improved if a "standard definition of video game addiction was adopted."
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) has opened submissions for the 2013 Into the Pixel art exhibit and the 2013 Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont Scholarships. The Into the Pixel art exhibit features digital game art from developers around the world. Submissions for that close on April 17, with those selected being on display in a special gallery at the E3 Expo on June 11-13, followed by worldwide tours thereafter.
Microsoft has launched the Kodu Game Design Challenge for young children, challenging youngsters to use its Kodu Labs game development package available for free on Windows (and for $5 on Xbox Live Indies) to develop a game. Children between the ages of nine and 18 years-old are eligible to compete.
If you weren't able to attend the Curry College event a few weeks ago (it took place a day before PAX East in Cambridge Mass.) called "Video Gaming Panel Discusses Violence, Sexism and the Future of Gaming" then you can check out the video to your left or by visiting this link.
The ESA Foundation, the charitable arm of the video game industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association, has announced that applications are now being accepted for its 2013-2014 scholarship program. This particular scholarship is for minorities and women that want to get a higher education in the interactive entertainment industry.
Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) President Hal Halpin will take part in a panel this evening at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts called "From PAX East to Curry College: What's Next for Video Gaming?." He'll be joined by Jen MacLean, former Chief Executive Officer of 38 Studios; Dr.
New research coming out of the University of Toronto shows that playing shooters and driving games for even a short amount of time seems to improve the ability to search for a target hidden among distractions in complex scenes. The study was conducted by psychology professor Ian Spence and PhD candidate Sijing Wu, who compared action videogame players and non-players on three visual search tasks. They found that the experienced players were better at it.
Flagler College (St. Augustine, Florida) assistant professor of communication Matthew Wysocki helped make a new book about control in video games a reality. Besides co-authoring a chapter on the subject and writing the introduction in "Ctrl-Alt-Play: Essays on Control in Video Gaming," Wysocki edited the 16 essays that make of the body of the work. More importantly the book was basically his idea. The book came about because he saw that many of his colleagues were working on similar projects concerning video game control.
A new study from Brad Bushman of Ohio State University comes to the conclusion that some players of violent video games are led there out of a sense of frustration because they cannot engage in taboo behaviors in the real world such as stealing or cheating. Don't worry, the latest Bushman study will connect this to aggression, violent video games, and a negative effect of some kind... The temptation to steal or cheat is sometimes great — especially when the risk of being caught is low.
Michael Langlois, a licensed Psychotherapist, speaker, defender of video games, and author of the book "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy," will be hosting an interesting one-man panel at PAX East called "Rethinking Game Addiction."
Ultimately the discussion is meant to challenge the mainstream thinking on game addiction and to explore the mental health benefits of playing video games - even violent ones. From the description at the Pax East web site:
The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) announced today that it has changed the name of its Interactive Media Division to the Interactive Media and Games Division. The name change is to "emphasize the program’s commitment to studying games and playable media in all forms," according to Tracy Fullerton, Electronic Arts Endowed Chair of the Interactive Media and Games Division at SCA.
In the latest issue of the science journal Nature two neuroscientists say that their colleagues should work with game developers to help create games that can be used to boost brain function and improve well-being. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester and Richard J.
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.
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.