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

Somebody call NSYNC and let them know it’s not gonna be May. As of today, it is May.

via Giphy

This May, we’re thrilled to present yet another no-strings-attached edition of What’s New in Game-Based Learning! This monthly roundup brings you sizzling news stories, interviews, and announcements from the realm of digital gaming. As educational gaming experts, our goal is to keep you updated on the latest trends in this industry.

Peruse the highlighted articles for this month and let us know on Twitter or Facebook if there’s anything noteworthy that we missed! Don’t forget to bookmark this post so you can return to it later.

Breathing-controlled video game helps calm children during anesthesia delivery (Fierce Biotech) 

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has recently developed and started using a video game called EZ Induction to help children cope with pre-operative anxiety. Using sensors that detect a child’s breathing, this game helps to control breathing and ease anxiety for anesthesia induction. Developed with the support of the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund and Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Ventures, EZ Induction has already been licensed to LittleSeed Calming Technologies and will be rolled out in hospitals throughout Ohio later this year. Played on a tablet, users must utilize their breath to control the game. The game shifts focus from the operation to something fun, which helps to calm young patients and educate them on what to expect during the procedure. Hearing about this game reminds us of our project with our friends at Turing Medical, FIRMM-pix, which helps young patients stay calm during MRI scans. Game-based learning and medtech are an excellent combination, if we do say so ourselves!

Reimagine Your Company’s Operations With Gaming (Forbes)

How are video games being used beyond entertainment? As a tool for education, training, rehabilitation, mental health, research, and physical exercise, to name just a few. This article’s author, Matthew Sopiars, also argues that video games and the gaming community can teach valuable lessons to companies, including managing complexity, handling demands, and promoting a sense of community. Sopiars suggests that companies can use gaming to reimagine their projects, learn about iterative design, gather feedback, and motivate employees to work towards a common goal. We couldn’t agree more!

Sarah Gagnon joins Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” to talk about Field Day Lab’s new media literacy game (UW-Madison School of Education)

via Field Day Lab

Another month, another innovation in our local game development scene! Recently, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Field Day Lab has developed a new educational game called “Headlines and High Water” that aims to teach middle school students media literacy skills. The free, web-based game allows students to step into the shoes of a young journalist, and was designed to introduce the concept of news literacy to students earlier in their education. Sarah Gagnon, the creative director of the lab, discussed the value of using video games as classroom tools and explained how Field Day works with teachers and students during the development process. You can check out Wisconsin Public Radio’s interview with Gagnon about the game here.

VR Helps Community College Professor Teach First Aid (Government Technology)

Niagara County Community College in New York is using virtual reality (VR) technology to teach first aid. Russell Crispell, an adjunct professor, has been using VR headsets to simulate scenarios, such as treating an unconscious person in the middle of the woods, to make learning more engaging and real. His curriculum still requires hands-on training, but the technology allows students to immerse themselves in potentially dangerous situations and be aware of their surroundings. Crispell, a wilderness first aid teacher of 20 years, plans to apply for more grant funding to create more VR content for his courses. Check out a video of one of the training scenarios found in his class below.

Microids announces the video game Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission (Games Press)

via Steam

Publisher Microids and studio Magic Pockets are releasing a new educational adventure game called Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission, where players help a local environmental association save a tropical island from pollution and impending disaster! Players will explore the island’s seabed, meet its inhabitants, and learn about marine ecology while unlocking the secrets of magical totems. The game features well-researched information, a codex to complete, and colorful landscapes to explore. Dolphin Spirit – Ocean Mission will be available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC on September 28th, 2023.

As we kick off the month of May, we hope this edition of What’s New in Game-Based Learning provided you with a glimpse into some of the exciting developments in the educational gaming industry! From breathing-controlled games to marine ecology games, it’s clear that gaming has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and engage with the world around us. We encourage you to explore these highlighted articles further and stay tuned for next month’s edition of What’s New in Game-Based Learning!

If you’re interested in creating an educational game for hospitals, classrooms, the workplace, or anywhere else – hi! We’re educational game developers with 18 years of experience working for clients such as Scholastic, National Geographic, and Smithsonian. Reach out to us for a free consultation – we can’t wait to work with you. 

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