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What’s New in Game-Based Learning – November 2019

Hello friends of Filament! And welcome to What’s New in Game-Based Learning – our regularly scheduled roundup of the month’s 🔥hottest🔥 news stories, interviews, and announcements from the world of game-based learning, serious games, and AR/VR for education. Check out this month’s highlighted articles, and be sure to reach out on Facebook or Twitter if we missed anything!

Once He Was a Refugee. Now He’s a CEO Making Video Games for Peace. (The Washington Post)

Meet Lual Mayen: self-taught programmer, former refugee from South Sudan, and current CEO of Junub Games – a new studio which aims to produce games which promote peace and conflict resolution. Mayen’s first major title – a high tension runner game called Salaam which tasks players with helping refugees escape from a war-torn region – is planned for release in December 2019. Deemed ‘Global Gaming Citizen’ at the 2018 Game Awards, learn all about Lual’s journey and dreams for his new game studio in this article from The Washington Post.

The Xbox Studio Battling Mental Illness with Video Games and Neuroscience (CNET)

In 2017, developer Ninja Theory released Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – an action-adventure game for PC and consoles that was praised widely for its candid and empathetic depiction of psychosis. And now – thanks to additional funding available as a result of Ninja Theory’s acquisition by Microsoft Game Studios in 2018 – the studio is working on a new, highly ambitious project: The Insight Project. Read about their ambitious plan to combine neuroscience, biometric sensors and game design to treat mental illness in this story from CNET.

NEH and Department of Education Award $650,000 to iCivics

Another month, another huge announcement from our friends at iCivics – this time, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and U.S. Department of Education (ED) have awarded a $650,000 cooperative agreement to iCivics to assemble and lead a group of experts in assessing the state of and best practices for teaching American history, civics, and government in U.S. K-12 classroom settings. Learn more about the award in this press release, and shout out to our partners at iCivics for continuing to lead the way in 21st century civics education!

Solving These 5 Issues Will Make Education AR/VR Go Mainstream (VentureBeat)

We’re longtime supporters of AR/VR for learning here at Filament – but it’s no secret that widespread adoption of immersive technologies among consumers has been slower than anticipated. But we’re not alone in our fascination with AR/VR for education – companies like zSpace continue to invest in dedicated, classroom-ready VR hardware, and news outlets like VentureBeat routinely publish news and insights related to the intersection of immersive technology and learning. And according to VentureBeat’s latest piece, widespread adoption of AR/VR for teaching and learning could be accelerated by solving five key issues – find out which barriers made their list in the full article.

‘It’s My Escape.’ How Video Games Help People Cope with Disabilities.

Another inspiring story from The Washington Post makes our list, this time all about how folks with disabilities embrace gaming as a way to communicate with others, make new friends, and “escape” from reality. According to the CDC, approximately one in four U.S. residents live with a disability – and as a studio, we’re thrilled to see new accessibility-focused gaming products and initiatives like the Xbox Adaptive Controller and The AbleGamers Charity receive mainstream attention from both the public and news outlets alike.

Miss last month’s roundup of game-based learning industry news? Click here to check out our October 2019 entry!

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