Pixel Academy, a New York City-based company founded by former Lead Game Designer at Nickelodeon (Mike Fischtha) has been conducting workshops for children ages 8-12 all over the city at locations such as homes and public libraries. These workshops teach children video game design, 3D printing, Arduino fashion design, and other fun technology based courses.
The 86-officer strong police department in Canton, Ohio is purchasing video game-like simulation technology called the MILO Range Pro 4 system. Developed and sold by IES Interactive Training, the MILO Range Pro 4 system offers more than 500 crime-scene scenarios to improve police skills in the field - from talking a suspect down in a threatening situation to last resort tactics like shooting suspects. The police department expects to have its officers using the system by sometime early next year.
A new video game that will be highlighted at the Games for Change conference hosted by RMIT in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday hopes to raise awareness about refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Refugees often take dangerous journeys on the open seas to reach the shores of friendly democracies. The game puts players in the shoes of these "boat people" who are trying to make their way to places like Australia to find safe haven and the kind of freedom and opportunities not available to them in their native lands.
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.
New research sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (also known as CARDI) suggest that using video games can help the elderly improve their balance and avoid falls that are often devastating and debilitating.
Minecraft developer Mojang has teamed up with the United Nations to create a new initiative called Block By Block.
Researchers at Yale are developing a video game for the iPad that hopes to prevent HIV infection among ethnic minority adolescents through the use of interactive entertainment. Their research is based on the entire process appears in Games for Health, a new journal focused on using game technology as a tool for improving health and well-being.
Zynga is loaning several of its developers to create a social charity game on Facebook. Development on a "social action" game based on the book Half the Sky by Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is well underway according to GamesBeat.
The book is about "turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide." The game will be released on Facebook on November 13.
Valve has revealed Steam for Schools, a cool initiative that brings the joys of learning with Portal 2 to America's classrooms, at the Games For Change Festival. Steam For Schools, launching in a limited beta, will provide a limited Steam Client and a tailored version of Portal 2, along with the level editor and a workshop for hosting and organizing user-created levels. It will be free to teachers, who will have administrator access so that they can control what levels get shared.
The AbleGamers Foundation will demonstrate the AbleGamers’ Accessibility Arcade at Abilities Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Chicago on June 29 to July 1. In its 30th year, the Abilities Expo focuses on improving the lives of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals across the country. The Expo features three days of workshops, demonstrations and displays of cutting-edge products and services.
The Florida National Guard has found a novel way of helping its state's unemployed soldiers work in the private sector: a program called Operation KickStart. The program uses gamification techniques to educate and teach participants in a game-like social platform environment. It also provides them with support through mentors and coaches that can teach them the best practices for starting a new career and being successful at it.
This year's Games for Change Festival is set for June 18-20 in New York City. The event dedicated to promoting social change through video games will offer plenty of activities this year including case studies, roundtables, lectures, demos, and more. Featured speakers for this year's event include Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author (Grand Theft Childhood) and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs; leading researcher, Dr.
XEOPlay has launched Tilt World, a game that hopes to "end climate change" through "play sourcing." Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEOPlay introduced Tilt World to the audience at DEMO Spring 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. In Tilt World, players control Flip, a tadpole who is trying to conquer climate change by planting trees in the real world using the power of players (playsourcing) and through a partnership with WeForest.org.
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.
Phaedra Boinodiris, serious games program manager at IBM, writes a guest editorial on Forbes exploring the way that games can be used to energize and enhance other things besides research projects. The point of her editorial is that researchers have been helped greatly by games created to solve problems that take advantage of "collective intelligence," and global participation.
Red Hill Studios is using the motion technology found in the Xbox 360 and Wii consoles to help people with Parkinson's disease improve their gait and balance. Researchers have used the technology to help stroke victims in a similar fashion, so aiming the technology at other afflictions makes perfect sense. Red Hill is collaborating with the UCSF School of Nursing to develop the game.
The United States Army is testing a new PC strategy game that teaches captains who are being deployed to Afghanistan how to think like local village elders do. The game is called CultureShock: Afghanistan and is being tested at the U.S. Army Engineer School via the captains’ career course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The purpose of the game, according to its creators is to teach cultural awareness and to show officers what drives the decision making process of local leaders whom U.S. forces will have to encounter and communicate with.
NASA has released an interactive educational video game today called NetworKing that its Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) network operates. The release of the video game coincides with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10. Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, its developers say that NetworKing gives players an insider's perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.
Researchers at the University of Utah have developed a motion-controlled game that helps children with cancer cope with their illness by promoting good mental health and physical fitness. The game, which was developed by chemistry professor Grzegorz Bulaj, is called PE Interactive (PE stands for "patient empowerment").
A research paper published Sunday by the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology details how the online game Foldit successfully mapped a protein-cutting enzyme from a particular AIDS-like virus found in rhesus monkeys. This enzyme apparently helps the virus spread and to counteract it, its exact molecular structure had to be mapped. This task had been impossible until crowd sourcing came along.
Organizers of the Gamification Summit announced this morning that they have finalized the agenda and speaker program for the September 15-16 conference occurring in New York City. That agenda includes keynotes, featured talks, design intensives, panels, and workshops that (they hope) teach and inform attendees on the subject. GSummit promises to bring together experts from advertising, healthcare, education, government, media, e-commerce, startups and academia to share knowledge and improve engagement with consumers and employees by using gamification techniques.
Chicago-based technology firm ImmersiveTouch has been working in consultation with the Memphis-based Medical Education & Research Institute (MERI) on surgery simulator technology that looks and feels like a next-generation video game. The inventors say that while it might be video game-like, it has far more serious implications for medical training and surgery.
MERI does not have a financial stake in the company or in the simulator, but many of the doctors and surgeons who pass through the training center have offered their input in developing the product.
"We are engineers. We are not physicians," said Cristian Luciano, Sensimmer's co-inventor and ImmersiveTouch vice president. "The needs that are coming from the physicians and surgeons drive the (product development) efforts as we produce solutions for them."
The 8th annual Games for Change Festival kicks off today in New York City. The event, which runs until June 22, is taking place at the NYU Skirball Center. The event is dedicated to using games to deal with the most pressing social and political issues that affect the world today by breaking down cultural barriers, shifting perspectives and driving actions in the real world.
This year's event features several sessions addressing games from an international perspective including one focusing on Games For Change in Europe.
In May 2011 the Chamber of Commerce in Valenciennes launched the first European Games for Change Festival. Highlights from the first event will be shared with the audience, including some of the new games and European award winners. The session will be presented by Jean-Michel Blottiere, Owner, NX Publishing; Sandra Faggioni, Digital Creation Project Manager, CCIV / POLE IMAGE NPDC and several European award-winners.
The seventh annual Games for Health Conference is one week away and organizers are reminding anyone that wants to attend that the registration period is almost over. The three day event dedicated to the convergence of games and the medical field takes place May 17-19 in Boston, MA.
Over the course of the annual three day conference over 120 speakers will participate in over 100 talks covering a variety of topics including medical simulations, serious games, game research, and new video game technologies that are being used to advance the healthcare field in the real world.
Speakers include Dr. Martin Seligman from The Positive Psychology Center (University of Pennsylvania); Dr. Roni Zeiger from Google; Shellie Pfohl; Executive Director of The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; and many more. The event will also offer two networking receptions, contests, group activities, fourth annual Games Accessibility Day, various workshops, and more.
The developers of a video game called Undercover UXO, (short for unexploded ordnance) aim to teach children in Cambodia and other war-torn regions about the dangers of land mines and other explosive devices - remnants of past wars in the region. In Cambodia, explosive devices have injured nearly 64,000 people in the last three decades, according to the Cambodian Mine/Explosives Remnants of War Victim Information System. Around 286 people were injured last year.
The new video game was designed by professors at Michigan State University using a $78,000 grant from the State Department. The game has been selected by the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation for a pilot run in Cambodia. So far, the game has been tested on children in its Phnom Penh office before introducing it to communities that are more rural and where the dangers of mines is even more prevalent.