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

Greetings fellow game-based learning, serious games, and AR/VR for learning fanatics – and welcome to an all-new entry of What’s New in Game-Based Learning

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(Image source: Giphy)

Designed to help you stay informed of the latest trends in our ever-evolving industry, this series highlights key news stories and announcements from the world of digital play and learning. Check out this month’s highlighted stories below, and be sure to reach out on Facebook or Twitter if we missed anything big!

With Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft Looks To Blend Esports And EDU (Forbes)

Microsoft is bringing the magic of esports to Minecraft: Education Edition with the introduction of new environments, activities, and an educator framework created by Immersive Minds. Dubbed “STEM Esports Challenges”, these seven new worlds and lesson plans add a competitive element to the already wildly successful MinecraftEDU formula, helping students learn key STEM concepts while simultaneously developing their creativity, decision making, communication and collaboration skills alongside their peers. [READ MORE]

Medical tech firm Brainlab acquires Level Ex surgery game startup (VentureBeat)

We’ve previously highlighted Level Ex’s suite of healthcare training games in earlier entries of this series – and now, VentureBeat reports that German medical technology company Brainlab has acquired Level Ex, marking the first major acquisition of a video game studio by an international health care company. While the full terms of the deal were not made available to the public, Level Ex’s CEO Sam Glassenberg stated that his company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary and continue to develop games here in the U.S. [READ MORE]

Poland first country to add video games to reading list (Tes)

Here’s a bit of unexpected – but amazing – news! Games For Change 2015 “Best Gameplay” award winner This War of Mine has been added to the official reading list for high-school students in Poland – making it the first video game ever to appear on such a list anywhere in the world. Developed by Warsaw, Poland-based 11 bit studios, This War of Mine places players in the shoes of civilians as they struggle to survive through two historical events – the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s and the Warsaw Uprising in WWII. [READ MORE]

Roblox: How teens are using games to cope with the pandemic (VentureBeat)

Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, teens are using games more than ever as a way to stay connected with their friends, according to a new survey from Roblox. And while it makes sense that total screen time has increased for most while under lockdown, the study also found that 40% of teens feel that they have improved their online friendships during the pandemic. For a closer look at the rest of the survey results detailing how teens are using games to cope with lockdown, check out the full summary on VentureBeat! [READ MORE]

Tokyo hospital uses VR to livestream surgery for education, research in a COVID-19 world (ZDNet)

With COVID-19 disrupting in-person medical education efforts worldwide, one hospital in Japan has turned to a novel medium for remote learning – virtual reality. Powered by the Smart Cyber Operation Theater (SCOT), Tokyo Women’s Medical University is now able to host remote VR “immersive live streams” for “medical students and other doctors [to] experience an operation in real-time from the surgeon’s perspective,” made possible thanks to cutting-edge Insta360 Titan cameras and Hacosco VR software. [READ MORE]

Curious which news stories made last month’s roundup? Check out our June 2020 entry here!

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