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

It’s officially March, and we’re feeling lucky! Not only because the clover is beginning to sprout, but also because game-based learning keeps on getting better and better! Welcome to What’s New in Game-based Learning, a series where we keep you updated on all of the latest news in our favorite industry. 

via Giphy

If you want to know whenever something exciting happens related to serious games, games for impact, and VR/AR for learning, follow Filament on Twitter and Facebook. If you find any of the following articles particularly interesting, don’t forget to share this post and bookmark it so you can return to it later! Now, let’s get into the news. 

Xbox is using AI and Minecraft to teach kids about internet safety (Tech Radar) 

Safer Internet Day was on Tuesday, February 7th this year! Ahead of the big day, Xbox announced a new Minecraft experience called Privacy Prodigy, a game-based learning experience to educate children ages 7-18 on internet safety with the help of AI. The game helps players learn how to protect personal data and know what to do should their sensitive information be compromised online. Additionally, the game uses AI technology called “Community Sift” which filters through messages, videos, and images to determine what is inappropriate and what is “gaming slang or part of one’s culture.” Game-based learning experiences like Privacy Prodigy can give young learners the confidence they need to keep themselves safe and informed while using the internet!

How Playing the EndeavorRx Video Game Can Help Your Child With ADHD (Cleveland Clinic) 

A little while back, we worked with our friends at Akili Interactive to create EndeavorRx, the first video game approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a prescription treatment for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The game is designed to improve cognitive function in children with ADHD by engaging specific neural pathways related to attention control. The game requires children to complete various tasks and challenges, and as they progress, the game adapts to their individual needs and abilities. 

Clinical trials have shown that children who played the game for 25 minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks experienced significant improvement in their attention control compared to a control group. It’s important to note that the game is not meant to be a substitute for medication or other treatments for ADHD, and may not be suitable for all children with the condition. Read the full article for input from pediatric behavioral health specialist Michael Manos, Ph.D. on video games for mental health treatment!

What Does Game-Based Learning Offer Higher-Ed? (Gonzaga University)

The article explores the many benefits of using game-based learning in higher education! It notes that game-based learning has been shown to increase engagement, motivation, and retention among students. Building off of the TED Talk above, this article’s author Justin Marquis, Ph.D., breaks down four characteristics of gamers, which include Urgent Optimism, Social Fabric, Blissful Productivity, and Epic Meaning. He then goes on to discuss what these four characteristics can do for college classrooms today. How can video games in higher education nurture optimism, foster meaningful connections, increase engagement, and ultimately give students a sense of purpose? Read the full article to find out! Overall, game-based learning has the potential to be a valuable tool for educators seeking to enhance student learning and engagement in higher education.

Can Video Games Improve Doctors’ Decision-Making? (DesignNews)

If you’re familiar with the Filament Games blog at all, then you know we love discussing all of the innovation taking place between technology and healthcare! The article explores how video games are being used to improve doctors’ decision-making skills. For example, a company called Level Ex has developed a series of mobile games designed to simulate complex medical scenarios, allowing doctors to practice making decisions in a safe and low-stakes environment. 

DesignNews notes that a third-party study on medical video games “has shown that medical video games can increase the competence and clinical decision-making of busy experienced physicians. While prior studies evaluated low-level outcomes like satisfaction and impact, this latest study found that doctors showed clinical improvement while playing the games and also demonstrated improvement in clinical decision-making long after gameplay.” Video games can be a valuable tool for medical training and continuing education, as they offer a more engaging and interactive way to learn than traditional classroom or textbook-based methods! 

Defying gravity: How video games play with gravity and zero-g (Space)

🎶It’s time to try defying gravity.🎶 The article surveys how recent video games have used the concept of gravity, or lack thereof, to create unique and engaging gameplay experiences. Video games can simulate different levels of gravity, from low-gravity environments like the moon to zero-gravity environments in space. Games like Kerbal Space Program allow players to navigate and explore vast virtual galaxies, experiencing different levels of gravity and physics along the way. The article also discusses how game developers have used physics simulations to create more realistic and immersive experiences (for example, you can learn more about how we developed the physics of our game RoboCo here). 

Instructor uses video games to promote social change (University of Miami)

Filament GBL Luminary Lindsay Grace made headlines this past month! Professor Grace is an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication, and he’s using video games to encourage and enact social change. Grace is passionate about studying and utilizing games for impact, particularly when it comes to media literacy and diversity issues in the gaming industry. Video games can be a powerful tool for social justice and activism, as they can help players understand complex social issues and encourage them to take action to effect change.

His colleague, associate professor of interactive media Kim Grinfeder, says “As an academic, Lindsay’s work is diverse and spans between creative practice and traditional game design research. As a practitioner, he focuses on independent games that try to improve the human condition through playful, prosocial, impact-driven experiences.” Learn more about Lindsay Grace’s life and career so far by checking out the full article!

That’s all the game-based learning news we have for now! Check back at the beginning of the next month for more. If you’re feeling inspired after reading about all of the different ways game-based learning can make a difference, we’re here to help you make your game-based learning project a success. Contact us today!

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