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

We hope you’re enjoying the sizzling days of summer so far. If you’re seeking respite from the scorching summer heat, you’re in the right spot, because here, in this very article, is the coolest game-based learning news of the past month. Welcome to the July edition of our monthly series, What’s New in Game-based Learning

via Giphy

For those joining us for the first time, allow us to introduce this series. We, your trusted educational game experts, are here to deliver you the freshest news in the realm of game-based learning. Each month, we gather the most captivating updates on serious games, games for impact, AR/VR for impact, and more. No need to scour the vast expanse of the internet when you can find everything you crave in one convenient place!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you never miss an update, and bookmark this page so you can return to it later. Now, without further ado, let’s cool off by diving straight into the game-based learning news.

Miss Beloit integrates video game education into her initiative (NBC15) 

Miss Beloit 2023, Angelica Chapman-Sykes, is using her pageant platform to promote diversity in the STEM digital development industry. Through an initiative called Game Changers: Diversifying STEM Through Video Game Development, Chapman-Sykes recently organized a career workshop in Beloit, Wisconsin, where together, she and several representatives from Filament Games taught children about video game software engineering, coding, and production – with some help from our robotics sandbox game, RoboCo

Chapman-Sykes aims to address the lack of diversity in the gaming industry and inspire young girls to pursue careers in digital development. The initiative received positive feedback from participants, including a 12-year-old girl who recognized the educational value of video games and their impact on her social skills. 

How Video Games Can Help Kids Stay in Touch With Friends Over the Summer (AbleGamers)

Ah, the age-old question: should kids be playing video games during summer break? This article from AbleGamers explains how video games help children stay connected with their friends during the summer. It emphasizes that video games have evolved beyond mere entertainment and now provide an interactive platform for socializing. 

Online multiplayer games are particularly valuable in maintaining friendships and overcoming physical distance. These games foster teamwork, collaboration, and camaraderie, creating shared experiences that strengthen relationships. Video games also allow kids to express themselves creatively through avatars and character customization. 

This article suggests that children and their parents choose games that encourage collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity, including educational games that combine entertainment with learning. However, it also emphasizes the importance of age-appropriate games and setting boundaries for a safe gaming experience. To summarize, video games can be a beneficial tool for children to stay socially active, engaged, and connected with their peers during the summer! 

Beyond fun: Gaming as a tool for learning, activism (The East African)

The role of video games as a medium for activism is constantly evolving. This article explores how video games can be a powerful tool to educate individuals of all ages about important societal issues. Article author Vincent Owino points out that the growth of the gaming industry, especially during the pandemic, has created an opportunity for organizations to utilize games to deliver impactful messages

Examples include the African Union’s mobile game Mission 55 – Conflict in Anaka, which educates young people about crisis response in Africa, and Usiku Games’ collaborations with institutions to develop educational games like Cyber Soljas for teaching online safety. Owino stresses the effectiveness of well-designed games in providing experiential learning and promoting social change. 

via @mission55game on Twitter

As the recognition of games as a medium for positive transformation increases, so does the potential for employment in the gaming industry, Owino writes. Ultimately, the way people see video games is evolving – more and more, they are being seen as a valuable cultural medium that combines creativity and technology to engage players in learning and advocacy.

The Light in the Darkness review – a sobering free educational game that confronts the Holocaust (The Guardian)

The Light in the Darkness is a free educational game that takes place during Holocaust. In his review of the game for The Guardian, Simon Parkin asserts that, unlike many World War II-themed video games that focus on battles, this game delves into the lives of ordinary people affected by the Nazi regime by telling the story of a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Paris. 

In the game, players navigate a Parisian apartment, observing and interacting with the family members. The game combines cartoon graphics with real documentary evidence, such as scanned documents and archival footage, to create a poignant and historically grounded experience. 

Parkin writes that The Light in the Darkness provides a sobering depiction of the family’s journey and the ominous path that lies ahead. With its focus on humanizing the victims and promoting awareness of the Holocaust, Parkin believes that the game serves as an important historical educational tool and sets an example for other developers looking to explore this sensitive topic in video games. Given the alarming lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among some individuals, the game’s contribution to commemoration and education is both necessary and urgent.

Meet The Psychologist Determined To Prove Video Games Are Good, Actually (Kotaku) 

Dr. Rachel Kowert, a research psychologist, has been studying video games for 15 years, and one of her main goals is to prove that video games have positive effects on individuals and society. In this interview with Kotaku, she emphasizes the importance of thoughtful research and conversation around video games, considering them a billion-dollar industry that impacts people of all ages and backgrounds

Despite being blamed by some people and news outlets for acts of violence, Dr. Kowert explains that there is no consistent evidence linking violent video games to real-world violence. In fact, she and other researchers argue that video games offer numerous psychological benefits, such as peripheral vision improvement, stress relief, mood management, social connection, and skill development. Dr. Kowert also describes the concept of “unintentional learning,” where players acquire knowledge and skills through gameplay.  She highlights the potential of video games to teach complex subjects, promote literacy, and enhance learning in various fields. 

Dr. Kowert also discusses her work on the dark side of games, examining how extremists and terrorists exploit gaming platforms for propaganda while advocating for community resiliency and management to create safer gaming spaces. Overall, her goal is to make video game platforms a better place and promote their positive impact on mental health and society. Dr. Kowert’s goals overlap with a lot of ours. As you may know, we create playful experiences that improve people’s lives!

Rovio to launch educational Angry Birds (KidScreen) 

via MacWorld

If you were an avid mobile gamer in the 2010s, we have some exciting news for you. Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind Angry Birds, has partnered with our friends at Legends of Learning to create educational versions of the popular Angry Birds games. The new games will focus on teaching STEM concepts, such as force, collisions, and angles, to children between the ages of 5 and 14. The games will be released on the Legends of Learning online platform in the fall. 

That wraps up another scintillating segment of our What’s New in Game-based Learning! Educational games have truly become a blazing force, leaving an indelible mark in both traditional classrooms and beyond. 

If you’re ready to transform your idea for an educational game into a tangible reality, look no further. Our team of skilled game developers is here to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to us for a complimentary consultation, and together we can create a learning game that makes a seriously good impact!

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