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What’s New in Game-based Learning – October 2022

Feel that chill in the air and the irresistible urge to listen to this song? That can only mean one thing – October is here! 🎃 Of course, that also means that a new segment of our monthly series, What’s New in Game-based Learning, is back yet again with plenty of treats for all of you game-based learning enthusiasts out there. Let’s check out what’s brewing in the educational game industry! 

via Giphy

If you’re new here, What’s New in Game-based Learning covers news from all over the globe related to game-based learning, AR/VR, and games for impact! Check out our Facebook and Twitter to join the discussion on all of the news below. Something educational this way comes…

The Rise of Gameschooling: New Virtual Convention to Celebrate Students & Game Designers Finding Fun Ways to Learn (The 74) 

When the pandemic made in-person learning impossible in 2020, educators, students, and game designers alike searched for ways to enhance and enrich digital learning. Online education company Outschool hosted the inaugural GamesCon, a conference that ran from September 23-25, 2022 to celebrate games for education. The conference focused on all types of play for learning, from video games to board games and beyond. Representatives from video game companies such as LEGO Masters, Roblox, and EA attended this event. Fernando Tarango, Outschool’s lead community organizer for GameCon, told The 74, “‘This is all about co-creating with learners. We want to create an experience to inspire learners to continue their passions, find their next passions and dig in at a high level.’” Find out more details about the conference and how it was built to inspire students, teachers, and creatives by reading the full article!

Playing with history: how heritage and archaeology are transforming video games (The Art Newspaper) 

In this article for The Art Newspaper, author Helen Stoilas examines how cultural artifacts appear in some of today’s most popular commercial games, such as Clash of Kings and the Assassin’s Creed series. Historical experts hope that the trend of including well-researched and designed authentic cultural artifacts in games sparks an interest in players – whether that be in specific historical events or the field of archaeology. In a recent issue of the journal Near Eastern Archaeology, scholar Tine Rassalle writes “‘We can use these games as entry points to talk with students and the general public about archaeology and the problems with looting and the black market.’” You can check out the full article to read more insight from experts and learn about all the ways history and video games interact! This also isn’t the first time this subject has shown up on the Filament Games blog. We’ve discussed game-based learning, history, and authenticity before, as well as VR for the humanities (specifically touching on its uses in archaeology). 

Minecraft and BBC partnering on Frozen Planet 2 educational content (Video Games Chronicle)

Interested in educational games and the environment? Frozen Planet II, a BBC Earth series on wildlife in the world’s coldest regions, recently partnered with Minecraft to create a game of the same name. The game was released on September 21, 2022, and features five unique landscapes for players to explore as the animals native to those regions. Elizabeth White, the series producer on BBC Earth’s Frozen Planet II, noted that “‘It’s never been more crucial to educate players everywhere about the effects of climate change and inspire a new generation of young people around sustainability. We believe it’s our responsibility to do so, and this partnership is the next big step in that direction.’” The game is available for free to Minecraft: Education Edition users. Check out the full article for more information on the game and the partnership between BBC Earth and Minecraft!

Kanesatake sisters develop video games to promote Kanien’kéha (CBC)

Two siblings are bringing Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) culture, stories, and language to video games with their own creations. Digital artists Kahentawaks and Wennekerakon Tiewishaw founded Revital Software in 2020, with the goal of revitalizing the Kanien’kéha language and giving back to their community. So far, the company has created seven different games, including Karihonniennihtshera (Teachings), a mobile game about a young girl named Ietsistohkwaroroks who learns about the local environment from her grandmother. In an interview with CBC journalist Ka’nhehsí:io Deer, Kahentawaks said, “‘Having video games be such a big part of my childhood, it would have been super helpful to be able to play games in Mohawk to reinforce the things I was learning. I just want to be able to provide those things for the next generation.’” The sisters are currently semi-finalists for the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch, a competition for indigenous entrepreneurs. Check out the full article to read even more about  Kahentawaks and Wennekerakon’s careers as game artists!

New farm games and simulators teach players about ag (Ag Daily)

If you happened to catch Nintendo Direct on September 13 this year, you’ll know that farming sims are all the rage right now. But how much can games actually teach players about agriculture and farming? In this article, Ag Daily Associate Editor, Heidi Crnkovic, explores how farming games can increase student interest in agriculture and STEM. She notes that farming games vary in levels of accuracy, and some are better than others as modes of agriculture education. Of games like Farming Simulator, Farmcraft, and Dairycraft, Crnkovic writes, “In a digital era, farming games provide educational tools and access to images and ideas from agriculture. And perhaps, they’ll help bridge the gap in agricultural education for this next generation through play.” Check out the full article to learn more about how educational games could be imperative for the farmers of the future!

That concludes another month’s worth of fresh game-based learning news. Whether you work at a museum and want to partner with us to make a game about archaeology, or work in agriculture and want to make a game about farming, we want to hear from you! Let us know how we can help make your game-based learning dreams a reality. 

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