May 27, 2015

Update on educational video games, March 2010

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Thanks to Natasha Boskic for this

John Rice (2010). New 3D Learning Book by Karl Kapp. Educational Games Research: Research and discussion concerning instructional video games. February 8, 2010.

If you are interested in using 3D environment for teaching and learning, you may take a look at a book recommended by Rice, Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration, by Karl Kapp.

[Read more…]

Further news on games

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Thanks to Natasha Boskic for this:

Doh, J. (2010). Centian is looking forward to playing with humans again. ARGNet, Alternate Reality Gaming Network, February 14, 2010.

Similar to the previously announced EVOKE, this ARG plunges right into 2.0 technologies and spreads on all fronts, starting with information notes posted on twitter, inviting players to ning community and following by text updates via cell phones. And that is not all:

Bogost, I. (2010). Mel Brooks, Ontologist: from Videogaming Illustrated, October 1982. February 15, 2010

Ian Bogost posted in his blog a very interesting newspaper article from 1982 (found by one of his students). It is always fun to read what people thought about something, in this case video games, and what they predicted would happen in the future:

Alex Galloway, the author of Gaming: Essays on algorithmic culture (mentioned in the references section), is going to give a lecture at the NYU Game Centre on Philosophy and Games on February 18, 2010:

Agent SureFire Infosec is a simulation to train office managers, executives or all staff about security of information and how to protect it in an office environment. It received a number of awards and it is a candidate for Best in eLearning category at the 2010 Digital Media Award in Ireland. The winner will be announced at the end of February:

See also: News on educational games, More news on educational games – and conferences, and Books and articles on games, simulations and virtual worlds – also use ‘games’, ‘simulations’ or ‘virtual worlds’ in the search facility for even more!

More news on educational games – and conferences

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Thanks to Natasha Boskic for this: has published a list of Bestsellers in Video Games for 2009.

Jamie Madigan published an interesting article on her blog, “Phat Loot and Neurotransmitters in World of Warcraft”,  about psychological effects of games, using World of Warcraft as an example. Her whole blog is an attempt to understand why we play games and what they do to us. In this particular posting, she compares playing WoW to slot machines. This triggered an even more interesting discussion on game addiction, human behaviour and the ways different countries respond to the consequences of increased game-time of everyday citizens.

The Independent Games Festival has announced the Main Competition finalists for the best games of the year. This is a record-breaking year in terms of the number of main competition entries (306 entries in total) since the establishment of IGF in 1998. The awards are in the categories: Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Excellence In Visual Art, Excellence In Design, Excellence In Audio, Technical Excellence, and Nuovo Award. The winners will be announced on stage at the IGF on March 2010 during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
In addition to nearly $50,000 in prizes in various categories, a constructive, written feedback (over 1500 written comments) from anonymous judges will be given to entrants, regardless of whether they are finalists or not, which is a great incentive for game developers to take part in this competition.

Harry Wallop’s report (in “Video games bigger than film”) on the growth of video game industry in United Kingdom shows that movies haves lost their dominant position in entertainment arena. In 2009 500 million pounds more was spent on video games than on films in UK. Video games have become part of mainstream, affordable and enjoyable by the whole family.

Satisfied with the success of Super Mario Bros Wii, Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, announced that the new Legend of Zelda Wii would be released by the end of the year. Read Chris Kohler’s article “Nintendo’s Iwata Says Wii Zelda in 2010” in Wired magazine.

Launching of Google Nexus One smartphone has attracted a lot of attention. One of the first questions about its functionality and possibilities is whether it could be used for playing games. Google is certainly thinking about how to make its mobile operating system the best in the world, competing with other already established phone companies on the market. Read the comment in Edge, “Gaming on the Google Phone”.

Can video games be used as a medicine? According to the story in Wired magazine, Injured MMA Fighter Recovers With Modern Warfare, video games helped an injured cagefighter to get back in shape.

Sony is unifying its products by enabling Sony PlayStation owners to use their PSN accounts to download content from other Sony devices. This was announced at Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) in Las Vegas on January 6, with a next month deadline. (Sony Details PSN Expansion To Other Products)

However, if you have non-Sony pieces of hardware, there will be no way for them to communicate. When every brand has its own network with no communication with other brands, we are faced with the same issue of compatibility as between Mac OS and Windows, with painful conversions and tons of helping applications (version for this and version for that…). If different companies don’t’ start thinking about how to “play” together, maybe every household should think about getting a huge deck instead of a dinner table.

See also: News on educational games, posted on January 21, 2010.

Also, Natasha’s list of conferences on simulations and games has now been updated to cover the whole of 2010.

New book on learning with digital games

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Whitton, N. (2010) Learning with Digital Games New York/London: Routledge

From the publisher’s blurb:

Written for Higher Education teaching and learning professionals, Learning with Digital Games provides an accessible, straightforward introduction to the field of computer game-based learning. Up to date with current trends and the changing learning needs of today’s students, this text offers friendly guidance, and is unique in its focus on post-school education and its pragmatic view of the use of computer games with adults.

The chapters are as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Recognizing the character of digital games
  3. Understanding the pedagogy of digital games
  4. Identifying types of digital games for learning
  5. Integrating digital games into the curriculum
  6. Designing a digital game for learning
  7. Assessing the impact of digital games on learning
  8. Using existing digital games for learning
  9. Developing new digital games for learning
  10. Evaluating digital games for learning
  11. Case studies (6)
  12. Conclusions

Nicola Whitton is a Research Fellow in the Education and Social Research Institute at the Manchester metroplitan University, UK. She has a web site: Learning with Digital Games

I look forward very much to reading this book and will post a review when I have done so.

News on educational games

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Thanks to Natasha Boskic for this:

1. Jane McGonigal (2010) URGENT EVOKE: Help us run a 10-week crash course in changing the world, Avant Game, January 11, 2010

Jane McGonigal has announced on her blog a new ARG, a “crash course in changing the world”. The game will start in March and the goal will be to address issues and find solutions for hunger and poverty, education, climate change, etc. The game will last for 10 weeks and each week the players will be presented with a new challenge.

The designers are looking for game assistants at the moment:

2. John Rice (2010) Five Video Games for ESL and Language Development, Educational Games Research, January 11, 2010

As an addition to his article “Virtual ESL”, that will appear in TechEdge, John Rice writes in his blog about five video games that are particularly well-suited to ESL acquisition and development: Second Life, World of Warcraft, My Word Coach, Webkinz and Whyville:

3. Gavin Ogden (2010). Applications Open For Sony’s G.I.R.L. Scholarship Program, EDGE, January 20, 2010

To help educate more women about video games and prepare them for the production and design, Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment offers for the third time G.I.R.L. (Gamers In Real Life) Scholarship in the amount of up to $10,000 toward tuition and other educational expenses.

4. Bjorn Billhardt (2010) Engaging with Games and Simulations, Training Industry Quarterly Winter 2010

The article offers five strategies for making games and simulations successful in corporate environment. Billhardt’s paper focuses on creating a meaningful game for the task at hand, presenting challenges that give opportunities for failure as much as for success, and allowing people to compete against each other, rather than against the computer.

5. John A. Weiss. Jr. (2010) Gaming in the classroom? New class says yes, The Michigan Daily, January 21, 2010

One more course about games at the undergraduate level has become part of the regular offering at the University of Michigan School of Education.

6. Reimagining Learning Digital Media and Learning Competition, HASTAC and MacArthur Foundation

This is the third year of the Digital Media and Leaning Competition initiated by HASTAC and sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. It “challenges designers, entrepreneurs, practitioners, researchers, and young people to put participatory learning to work on behalf of science, technology, engineering, math and their social contexts in the 21st century”. The online application system was open January 15, and the due date for the preliminary application is January 22, 2010