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

Welcome, fellow knowledge seekers and game-based learning enthusiasts! It’s time to gather ’round for your monthly scoop of What’s New in Game-based Learning. Just like a bountiful harvest, we’ve plucked the freshest updates and insights from the world of serious games, impactful play, and the immersive realms of AR/VR. So, grab your favorite autumn beverage and settle into a cozy spot – here’s the latest and greatest in the game-based learning industry!

via Giphy

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Roblox invests another $15 million to promote educational games (Fast Company) 

This past month, our friends at Roblox announced that they are investing an additional $15 million into its Roblox Community Fund, which supports educational programming on the platform. This initiative aims to make Roblox a place where kids come not only to play but to learn various subjects, from math to mental and emotional health strategies. 

The platform has already welcomed high-profile learning experiences like RoboCo Sports League (RSL), a robotics experience we created in collaboration with FIRST, an organization focused on robotics education and competition. RSL, which was released on October 17, 2023, allows students to build virtual robots, learn robotics concepts, and participate in competitions without the need for physical robots, reducing logistical and financial barriers for individual players and schools at large.

Roblox’s strong support for multiplayer experiences and its robust moderation system make it an ideal platform for educational experiences. The company aims to incorporate even more experiences that effectively merge gameplay and learning onto Roblox, focusing on subjects like math, with the goal of keeping students engaged while they learn. This move highlights Roblox’s commitment to becoming an educational platform where students can explore and learn in immersive and engaging ways!

Eat or be eaten: How the Monterey Bay Aquarium uses gaming to inspire empathy for deep-sea life (MuseumNext)

via MuseumNext

In October, the Monterey Bay Aquarium introduced a large-scale video game called Eat or be Eaten in their “Into the Deep – Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean” exhibition to raise awareness about microplastics pollution in the deep sea and inspire conservation. This game allows visitors to assume the role of a deep-sea animal, challenging them to survive in the midwater, where they must avoid both pollution and predators. 

By showcasing the lesser-known creatures of the deep, the game aims to highlight the threat posed by the plastics that enter the ocean daily. The game is a means of engaging visitors with the issue of microplastics while maintaining an element of fun, making it an educational and enjoyable experience for all ages.

This project reflects a broader trend of bringing activism into cultural institutions, such as zoos and aquariums, to inspire action and foster empathy for less visually appealing ocean creatures. The team’s goal is to encourage conservation and inspire the next generation to become environmentalists and make informed choices to protect our planet’s oceans.

DiagnosUs App Uses Gamification To Fill Gaps in Medical Education (Tech News World)

via Tech News World

The recently released DiagnosUs app transforms medical education by offering a gamified approach to learning medical diagnosis skills, using real patients’ X-rays and ultrasound images. Designed for medical students, nurses, lab technicians, and physicians, this app challenges users to compete for prizes by answering medical questions and labeling medical images. 

The app’s results, especially in labeling medical images, are sent back to Centaur Labs, a service that helps AI developers and data scientists label large-scale medical and scientific datasets. It provides a platform for learning and practice, especially for medical students who may not have access to certain skills in their traditional curriculum. The app’s focus on real medical cases and active participation sets it apart from traditional educational methods, making it a valuable resource for medical students and healthcare professionals looking to improve their diagnostic skills!

Fortnite’s new in-game Holocaust museum shows us a virtual future for education (The Conversation)

Fortnite (a popular MMO game you’ve likely heard of before) has launched a Holocaust museum called “Voices of The Forgotten” to provide players with a virtual educational experience about the history of the Holocaust. This museum, created by British game developer Luc Bernard, aims to educate players about the Holocaust, its events, and the historical figures associated with it. 

The museum, located in Fortnite, doesn’t depict graphic or disturbing content in compliance with the game’s policies. Instead, it focuses on the lives of the individuals before the Holocaust. Emotes and weapons typically found in Fortnite are disabled in the museum, creating a unique metaverse experience that allows players to explore and learn in a respectful manner.

The addition of a Holocaust museum in Fortnite follows a trend of virtual exhibits in online games aimed at preserving history and educating players on complex topics. Virtual environments like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Second Life are providing new opportunities to teach and engage learners. With their younger user base, these platforms may help educate a generation that has shown a lack of understanding about the Holocaust, as traditional educational methods evolve to embrace the digital age and metaverse experiences become an integral part of education.

Artist Nancy Baker Cahill’s New A.R. Work Unleashes a Surreal Interspecies Creature on the Terrace of the Whitney Museum (Art Net News)

via Art Net News

American artist Nancy Baker Cahill unveiled a new augmented reality artwork called “CENTO” on the eighth-floor terrace of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York this past month. To view the artwork, visitors must use Cahill’s custom 4th Wall app, which reveals a hybrid interspecies creature created by the artist. 

“CENTO” serves as a speculative vision of a future adaptation to the current climate crisis and the possible consequences of the climate emergency. This project, commissioned by Artport, showcases the artist’s exploration of philosophy and science fiction, questioning whether synthetic biology could provide adaptability in the face of environmental crises.

“CENTO” is part of Cahill’s commitment to addressing pressing issues through AR art, previously touching on climate change and political divisions. 

The interactive element of the artwork allows viewers to add different types of feathers to “CENTO,” each designed to help the creature adapt and survive in an increasingly hostile world. Cahill’s work demonstrates the potential of emerging technologies like mixed reality, along with human collaboration, to find solutions to complex problems

That wraps up this delectable edition of What’s New in Game-based Learning for this month! If you’re eager to craft your very own educational game and contribute to nourishing the minds of the world, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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