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What’s New in Game-based Learning – January 2023

Happy 2023, Filamentarians! 🎉 It may be the New Year, but one thing will always remain the same – you can count on us to fill you in on all the 🔥hottest🔥 game-based learning news. AR/VR, games for impact, or any other kind of educational game-related news – we cover it all! Let’s celebrate a new beginning with the freshest news in the industry. 

via Giphy

Why not start off 2023 by following Filament Games on Facebook and Twitter so you never miss an update? 

How Roblox built a hiring test that feels like a video game (Fast Company)

Our friends at Roblox have come up with an innovative new hiring process meant to reduce hiring bias. With this part game and part test, potential Roblox employees are assessed on their creative problem-solving and systems thinking abilities. Jack Buckley, Roblox’s VP of people sciences, worked with a team to create a hiring test that measures these skills. How? According to this article from Fast Company, “To judge an applicant’s creative problem solving abilities, the designers devised a challenge where one would have to build as many robots as possible that could clear certain obstacles. For systems thinking, applicants would need to complete a ‘pathogen test’ in which they would be asked to determine which animals out of a group were most likely to attract disease.” Roblox officials hope that this game-based approach to hiring will result in more hiring due to an applicant’s abilities versus their identity, education, or background. 

Gerald “Jerry” Lawson’s 82nd Birthday (Google) 

December 1st is an important day in video game history! On that day in 1940, Gerald “Jerry” Lawson was born. If you didn’t know, Lawson was the engineer that pioneered the video game cartridge. Lawson founded his video game development company, VideoSoft, back in 1980. The company then went on to create software for the Atari 2600, which eventually caused the cartridge Lawson and his team developed to skyrocket in popularity. A doodle of Lawson, along with a game about his life, was featured as the Google Doodle this past December 1st. You can still play the game by checking out the full article above. Be sure to check out the video too, which features Lawson’s son Anderson Lawson, and several of the guest artists that created the Doodle! 

Meet the Parents Who Use Video Games to Level Up Their Kids’ Money Skills (CNET)

Did you know that all kinds of video games provide opportunities for children to learn financial literacy? Whether educational or commercial, many games offer resource and currency management mechanics that can translate into real-life smarts as players grow up and start earning their own money. This article from CNET surveys a variety of popular games, from Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Roblox to Pokemon and examines their impact on players’ financial literacy. Article author Marcos Cabello writes: “Practicing pro-social skills, mastering in-game currencies and solving puzzles through critical thinking are all skills that children can learn by playing video games — and they often don’t even realize they’re learning.” He goes on to say that games can be motivating and immersive learning tools that can lay a foundation for responsible spending in the future – which is something parents can tap into! Read the full article to learn how different parents are using games like Minecraft, Civilization, and more to teach their children about money management. 

Pop’Balloons: The First Serious Mixed-Reality Game for Autistic Children (Neuroscience News) 

via Neuroscience News – University of Montreal

Researchers at the University of Montreal, led by Guillaume Dumas, have created Pop’Balloons, “a game that lets young people with ASD safely explore their real environment” and improve motor skills! While playing the game, young learners see balloons in their environment they can pop at their own pace. Researchers hope that this game can inspire other developers to create more inclusive video games, and hope that Pop’Balloons can also be used for neuropsychological assessments in the future. Dumas envisions the game being a time saver for patients and clinicians: “‘It [Pop’Balloons] could support the health care system, which is very congested and has long wait times for evaluations. The game could save time for healthcare professionals; they wouldn’t have to spend hours performing a clinical evaluation.’”

Boston’s Museum of Science has entered the metaverse, by way of the Red Planet (Boston Globe)

Last but certainly not least, we wanted to feature Mission: Mars, an experience we released on December 12th, 2022. Created in collaboration with the Museum of Science and Roblox, the experience allows players to explore Mars, design and optimize vehicles, and complete missions with friends or solo. This experience is part of an effort to create a robust educational metaverse. Mission: Mars provides students who have experienced difficulties keeping up with school during the pandemic with a fun and immersive way to learn. With the launch of the experience, the Museum of Science has also released a pre-K through eighth-grade curriculum to be used alongside Mission: Mars. Check out the full article for more details, including a quote about the scientific principles that went into the experience from our CEO, Dan White! Interested in learning more about our collaboration with Roblox and the Museum of Science? Check out our interview with Christine Reich, the Jane and Payson Swaffield Chief Learning Officer at the Museum of Science. 

That concludes the news for the first shiny new month of 2023. Thanks for kicking off the new year with us! Is your New Year’s resolution to learn more about game-based learning? You’re in the right place. Keep up with all the latest and greatest game-based learning news right here on the blog. 

Is another one of your resolutions to create your very own educational game? Contact us for a free consultation!

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