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

A new month has arrived, which can only mean one thing – it’s time for an all-new roundup of game-based learning, serious games, and AR/VR in education news! 

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(Image source: Gfycat)

That’s right – What’s New in Game-Based Learning is back, and ready to help you stay on top of some of the latest trends in our ever-evolving industry. Check out this month’s featured articles below, and be sure to let us know on Facebook or Twitter if we missed any key stories!

Level Ex Upgrades Surgery Games to Virtually Train Doctors to Treat COVID-19 (VentureBeat)

Chicago-based medical simulation game developer Level Ex’s suite of smartphone training games have grown in popularity in recent years among medical students and professionals alike – and now, these games are being made more relevant than ever thanks to the addition of new COVID-19-focused features. Available for free through the Airway Ex and Pulm Ex apps on Google Play (with iOS versions coming soon), these new levels aim to help doctors and medical professionals practice and apply key COVID-19-related actions, ranging from analyzing and evaluating diagnoses to virtual intubation (inserting a tube into a patient for a ventilator). [READ MORE]

Role-Playing Games Are Breathing New Life Into the History Classroom (University Affairs)

In this inspiring article from University Affairs, Carleton University professor Pamela Walker describes her unique approach to teaching history classes: role-playing games (RPGs). Using Reacting to the Past (RTTP), a series of games that combine role-playing with pedagogy, Dr. Walker challenges students to take on the role of historical figures, conducting research and engaging meaningfully with the historical context that surrounds their “character.” Since introducing the games in her classrooms, Dr. Walker has found that student engagement and attendance has improved dramatically, with students themselves praising the unique and interactive elements of the RPG lessons. [READ MORE]

Quarantine Is Creating Brand-New Gamers (Polygon)

While COVID-instigated chaos continues to brew around the globe, one industry remains incredibly resilient: video games. And that’s no exaggeration – April 2020 marked a new record high in spending across video games, hardware, and accessories, breaking the previous April month record set all the way back in April 2008. And while much of this spending can be attributed to longtime gaming enthusiasts, April’s dramatic surge in sales may also be a result of new players entering the world of gaming for the very first time – learn firsthand how folks of all ages are exploring video games as a way to stay entertained and connected during quarantine in this fascinating piece from Polygon! [READ MORE]

Apollo 11 VR’ Studio Secures $3.3M Funding from HTC for VR Education Platform ‘Engage’ (Road to VR)

We’ve previously featured Apollo 11 VR in our roundup of essential educational games for the Oculus Go – and now, developer Immersive VR Education has announced that it has secured a $3.3 million investment from VR hardware company HTC for its VR education and training platform ENGAGE. Amidst a remote work renaissance spurred by the ongoing pandemic, it’s no surprise that leaders in the VR hardware space like HTC and Oculus are ramping up investments in VR collaboration and learning platforms – and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the technology in our increasingly digital world. [READ MORE]

RoboCo Joins the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition! (Filament Games)

Rounding out today’s list is an announcement direct from our team – a free demo of our in-development sandbox robotics game RoboCo will be available June 9-14 as part of the upcoming Steam Game Festival! For more details, check out last week’s announcement article – but to recap, this marks the first time that RoboCo will be playable among the public, and all folks need to do to play is create a free Steam account. We look forward to sharing more information about the Steam Game Festival on our blog in the coming weeks – and we can’t wait to see all the amazing things our fans build in RoboCo! [READ MORE]

Miss last month’s roundup of game-based learning, serious games, and AR/VR in education news? Check out our May 2020 entry here!

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