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What’s New in Game-based Learning – July 2022

Welcome to July, Filamentarians! We hope that the summer heat isn’t keeping you down, but if you need to cool off with some summer reading, you’re in the right place. It’s time for another segment of our highly anticipated monthly series, What’s New in Game-based Learning! If you happen to be new here and don’t know what we’re on about – it’s simple. At the beginning of every month we (your favorite educational game developer) deliver you all the latest and greatest news on serious games, VR/AR, games for impact, and more – all in one place. Pretty neat, huh? Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

via Giphy

Have thoughts on any of the news below? Tag us on Twitter or Facebook and let’s chat more about the benefits of game-based learning!

How video games could help you keep your emotions in check (WHYY)

In game designer Erin Reynold’s horror game “Nevermind,” players also use a heart monitor – if they become scared or anxious, the game gets more difficult. When she originally made the game, she created it for entertainment, but researchers and psychologists think the game’s mechanics are onto something that could help players regulate their emotions in real life too. We’ve mentioned biofeedback in games in a previous installment of What’s New in Game-based Learning, and the premise of “Nevermind” is largely the same: it’s a game that monitors someone’s nervous system and responds to their levels of calmness or agitation. In this article from WHYY, you can also learn about several other games that incorporate this type of feedback from a player. Among them is a “jellyfish simulator” game called “DEEP.” To play the game, a user must wear a belt around their diaphragm that measures their breathing. 

Kelli Dunlap, a clinical psychologist and game designer, believes that games like this have the potential to teach emotional regulation skills that are often difficult for adults to impart to children: “‘It’s really, really cool to see someone playing a game, and all of a sudden, they’re noticing their screen is getting red, or it’s getting harder to play, and like, ‘Oh that’s right, I need to check in with myself. I need to remind myself to calm down.’ That’s such a difficult thing to teach.’” Check out the article for more on what psychology professionals have to say about biofeedback and gaming!

American Sign Language Xbox Channel on Twitch Is a Game Changer for Deaf Gamers: “We Can Finally Participate” (The Hollywood Reporter)

We probably don’t have to tell you that Twitch is an extremely popular platform for game enthusiasts – but streams on Twitch aren’t always accessible to everyone. That’s why Xbox has partnered with Sorenson, a communications company, to create a new Twitch channel called XboxASL. This channel features sign language interpretations of around 25 hours of streams per week, along with “interviews with game developers, esports tournaments, event coverage, streamer takeovers and spotlights on independent games that never received captioning.” The channel was designed for Deaf and hard-of-hearing gamers, who often couldn’t fully participate in streams due to limited accessibility options. The channel was developed in part by efforts from Xbox’s Insiders League, which includes anyone who self-identifies as having a disability, as well as Microsoft’s gaming accessibility testing service. Learn more about the channel, Xbox’s recent accessibility developments, the Deaf and hard-of-hearing gaming community by checking out the full article!

Bringing digitised medieval objects into compulsory education (Europeana Pro)

via Europeana Pro

It isn’t common for Medieval Studies to show up in primary or secondary school curriculums – but that’s changing! Thanks to a collaboration between the Hunt Museum in Limerick, Ireland, and educators, Medieval European literature and history is coming to life in an interactive way. One of the materials created for this project was a learning game called “The Art of Reading in the Medieval Ages: Medieval Coins.” According to this article by Isabel Crespo for Europeana Pro, the game has a broad focus on elements of Medieval European history: “From accumulating wealth, to political, religious and historical propaganda, students discover the different ways in which coins were used in the Middle Ages…students create their own coin, imagine and map their own land, and use their coins to trade resources with their classmates.” Looks like this game also has a little bit of ye olde collaboration. The game is included in this article, so you can play it for yourself there!

‘Shashingo’ Is A Photography Game That Can Teach You Japanese (Forbes)

So far, it’s been an exciting summer of game announcements and release date announcements (cough, cough, RoboCo). One of the games we’re particularly excited about is the upcoming language learning game Shashingo, developed by Autumn Pioneer. This game combines photography and the Japanese language into an adventurous, new take on language learning. In the game, players explore a city, taking pictures along the way. How does taking photographs of scenery teach someone to speak and write in Japanese? As put by Kris Holt for Forbes: “When you capture an object, you’ll hear the Japanese term for it and see the kanji for the word. You’ll be able to look at signs and see English translations for them too.” Any pictures captured by the player and then uploaded to a photo album, which they can revisit to hear words and see them in kanji again whenever they like. The game’s release date is currently to-be-announced, but we do know that it is in development for both PC and the Nintendo Switch. Check out the article above and the game’s page on Steam for even more details!

Virtual reality useful in addressing social determinants of health (Medical Xpress)

Add this to the ever-growing list of medical applications for VR! This new Boston University School of Medicine study found that VR can boost medical students’ abilities to screen for social determinants of health in patients. Social determinants of health, or SDOH, are defined by the World Health Organization as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems.” This study included multiple types of medical professionals-in-training, including technology, medical, physician assistant and social work students, and was focused on collaboration between these fields of study. Not only did this study find that VR learning is an excellent way for students to practice addressing SDOH, but it also found that utilizing VR improves the collaboration skills between teams of future healthcare workers. Learn all the details by checking out the full article!

That concludes this 🔥sizzling🔥 July segment of What’s New in Game-based Learning! We hope you’re as fired up as we are about the incredible impact of educational games in and out of the classroom. If you’re looking for a game developer to make your learning game a reality, drop us a line for a free consultation!

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