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What’s New in Game-Based Learning – February 2020

Welcome to What’s New in Game-Based Learning – your monthly roundup of the 🔥hottest🔥 news stories from the worlds of educational gaming, games for impact, and AR/VR for learning. Check out our roundup of highlighted stories below, then let us know on our Facebook or Twitter if we missed anything big!

What College Esports Arenas Mean for Community in the Digital Age (EdSurge)

Demand for college esports teams, arenas, and degree programs continue to skyrocket as we enter a new decade – and universities are listening. According to EdSurge, institutions like Illinois State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have recently decided to introduce dedicated “gaming areas” to their campuses. But unlike varsity esports teams which are traditionally backed by university athletic or computer science divisions, these spaces are designed to foster community among all students – no matter their background or prior level of familiarity with video games. [READ MORE]

HTC Believes VR Is the Next Big Tech Opportunity for Education (ZDNet)

HTC – the company which helped bring virtual reality to mainstream audiences with their VIVE line of hardware – remains steadfast in their belief that VR will one day revolutionize education as we know it. And while we’re totally on board with the notion that VR changes learning, Thomas Dexmier, HTC country manager of Australia and New Zealand, admits that one thing stands in the way of widespread VR adoption – that is, the lack of 5G mobile networks. HTC believes that cloud computing holds the key to the future of VR, and specifically educational applications of the technology – learn more about their predictions in this article from ZDNet. [READ MORE]

From Surgery Simulators to Medical Mishaps in Space, Video-Game Tech Is Helping Doctors at Work (The Washington Post)

From VR surgical training to Saving Lives!, video game training simulations for healthcare professionals are on the rise. And according to The Washington Post, we’re not the only studio excited about applying exciting technologies like mobile games and AR/VR to medical training settings – with new tools from Osso VR, Schell Games, and Level Ex highlighted in their article. Perhaps you or your organization is in need of a custom-made healthcare game of your own? If so, we’d love to hear from you! [READ MORE]

Professors Create Free Research-Backed Games to Train Your Brain (NYU News)

Gwakkamolé, CrushStations, and All You Can ET – three seemingly normal learning games, with a unique twist: developed by researchers from New York University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, these games are proven by research to help both children and adults develop their cognitive skills. Designed in collaboration with developmental psychologists, neuroscience researchers, learning scientists, and game designers, each brain training game supports a unique learning objective – and best of all, each of these games are available as free downloads for iOS and Android devices. [READ MORE]

NASA Finds Real Uses for VR and AR in Astronomy and Engineering (TechCrunch)

For many, virtual reality is an exciting way to experience all-new types of games, or watch content on the big screen from the comfort of their own home. But for Tom Grubb, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, VR is a key component of their work – helping lead to the identification of new classifications of star groups. Using a custom-built program called PointCloudsVR (which is conveniently accessible on GitHub), Tom and his team are pioneering new applications of immersive technologies for science and engineering applications – and you can learn more about their efforts in this article from TechCrunch. [READ MORE]

Did you miss out on last month’s roundup of What’s New in Game-Based Learning? Have no fear – view our January entry here!

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