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

Ah, aren’t you glad you live in a world where there are Octobers? We sure are! The crisp breezes, the paramountcy of pumpkin spice, and of course, the new game-based learning news. We’re so excited it’s October that we could dance (with a frog, while dressed as an elephant. That’s a rock fact)!

via Amino

If you’re new to the blog, welcome! At the beginning of every month, we, your friendly educational game developers, round up all the most fascinating news about serious games, game-based learning, AR/VR for impact, and more. If you always want to be in the loop, follow us on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) for daily updates, insights, and interviews about the learning game industry!

Atari cofounder Nolan Bushnell announces education gaming startup ExoDexa (VentureBeat)

via ExoDexa

A video game industry vet is setting his sights on educational games! Recently, Atari cofounder Nolan Bushnell has partnered with ExoDexa Holdings to establish a startup called ExoDera, focusing on educational games. Their goal is to create a comprehensive video game platform that integrates K-12 curricula. ExoDexa’s adaptive learning platform ensures students grasp a topic before moving on to the next level, but the games are designed to be enjoyable adventures rather than traditional educational tools. The company aims to make learning a more interactive and engaging experience, recognizing that students learn best when they are entertained. We couldn’t agree more! 

ExoDera gained recognition as a finalist in the 2022 EdTech Awards for Games in the Learning/Simulation Solution category, with its flagship game, The Last Explorer. Bushnell and CEO Leah Hanes believe that interactive learning holds the key to reshaping education and empowering students to redefine success

The hero of this new video game is a translator (AXIOS)

Chants of Sennaar is a newly released video game that focuses on the theme of translation and the power of language to unite or divide people. Developed by a small French team, the game features a robed hero who explores a fictional tower inhabited by distinct cultures, each speaking their own languages represented by untranslated glyphs. Players must gradually decipher these languages by collecting clues, promoting empathy and open-mindedness as they help characters in distress and bridge gaps between cultures without needing combat.

The game’s developers, Julien Moya and Thomas Panuel, aim to spotlight a different kind of hero – diplomats and translators who solve problems through compassion and understanding. Despite their small studio, they prioritize originality in storytelling and gameplay, emphasizing the importance of linguistic commonalities in bringing diverse people closer together. Chants of Sennaar challenges players to explore these linguistic nuances and reinforces the idea that language can serve as a bridge to connect cultures in today’s world!

6-year-old girl is world’s youngest videogame developer (Guinness World Records)

via Guinness Book of World Records

At just 6 years old, Simar Khurana has become the world’s youngest video game developer by creating an educational game called Healthy Food Challenge. Simar, hailing from Beamsville, Ontario, Canada, has an aptitude for math and coding, which led her father to introduce her to coding classes. Despite facing challenges in finding a suitable class due to her young age, she eventually began learning to code and, after a few months of classes, decided to create a video game aimed at kids her age!

Inspired by a visit to the family doctor, Simar’s game teaches children about healthy and unhealthy food choices and the importance of a balanced diet. To achieve a Guinness World Records title, Simar and her father worked intensively, increasing her coding classes and balancing her other activities. Simar aspires to be a game developer and has even started exploring AI and machine learning.

What’s driving diverse audiences to symphonic music? Video games (Wake Forest News)

You read that headlight right! Believe it or not, video games are playing a pivotal role in introducing diverse audiences to symphonic music. Recent research conducted by Adam Hardwick, assistant professor of music at Wake Forest and director of the University Symphony Orchestra “suggests [the] performance of video game music by American symphony orchestras has and will continue to open new pathways for listening, performance and composition that is increasing audience engagement in symphonic music.” 

Video game music serves multiple functions within gaming experiences, providing emotional support, enhancing narratives, and guiding players. As the gaming industry evolves, orchestras are exploring opportunities to incorporate gaming music into their programs, aiming to create inclusive and immersive concert experiences. This growing interest highlights video game music’s significance as an art form – one that can elevate live symphonic performances and attract an expansive new audience, including the vast gaming community of over 3 billion people worldwide who listen to music during their gaming sessions! 

iCivics creates online game to teach kids about the Constitution (VentureBeat)

We’re always proud to work with our longtime client, iCivics! This past month, iCivics and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Museum have jointly launched Constitutional Compromise, an online game aimed at teaching kids about the making of the U.S. Constitution. Released on Constitution Day, the game immerses middle and high school students in the historic events that led to the Constitution’s signing in 1787. Guided by George Washington, players must navigate six key issues, such as the scope of national government and the transatlantic slave trade, to draft the nation’s governing charter. Ultimately, the game aims to engage students with these lessons by presenting them in a format they can relate to and understand – video games!

Constitutional Compromise marks iCivics’ first attempt at creating a game for use within a museum exhibit. The game is accessible on the iCivics website and can also be played on-site at the Mount Vernon Museum. This educational game encourages students to grapple with debates, make choices, and compare their decisions with historical outcomes, providing them with foundational civic knowledge and an understanding of compromise’s importance in a healthy constitutional democracy. Again, we’re honored to have developed this game – it offers an engaging and informative approach to civics education, focusing on civility, compromise, and the common good!

As we bid farewell to September, we’re looking forward to witnessing the continued growth and evolution of game-based learning. We’ll be back in November to fill you in on what’s yet to come, but until next month, stay curious and game on.

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