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What’s New in Game-Based Learning – September 2020

Greetings, readers – and welcome to another exciting entry of What’s New in Game-Based Learning! A monthly series highlighting the 🔥hottest🔥 news and announcements from the world of educational gaming, virtual reality for learning, and serious games, it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Check out this month’s highlighted stories below, and be sure to reach out to our team on Facebook or Twitter if we missed anything newsworthy!

How developers are using mobile games to help save the planet (BBC)

Think gamers are useless in the fight to help make the world a better place? Think again! While we’ve previously gone into detail highlighting gaming-centric charities and fundraisers on our blog, this brand new article from BBC highlights how some of the world’s largest mobile game makers – including Angry Birds developer Rovio – have recently committed to introducing environmental messages into their titles in an effort to help spark conversations and raise awareness about climate change among players. [READ MORE]

With Virtual Reality, Caregivers Can Become Patients (The New York Times)

Inspired by her experiences caring for her own mother after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Carrie Shaw founded Embodied Labs with a mission: to harness the power of virtual reality to help caregivers gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of folks experiencing aging issues like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and more. By utilizing a first-person patient perspective, Shaw hopes to help users – whether nurses, full-time, or family caregivers – a better understanding of the unique challenges facing older adults affected by these diseases. [READ MORE]

New research shows video games improve literacy (GamesIndustry.biz)

A new study from the National Literacy Trust – a UK-based organization that works to promote literacy among disadvantaged youth – was recently published, and GamesIndustry.biz has the scoop! According to their survey of more than 4,500 young people from across the UK, the National Literacy Trust found that video games may be associated with improved literacy, creativity, positive communication, empathy and mental well being – with additional findings pointing toward a link between playing games and an improved ability to build social bonds among both in-person and online friends. [READ MORE]

How virtual reality is tackling racism in the workplace (CNN Business)

While many organizations have taken it upon themselves to seek out in-person training efforts to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of workplace bigotry, U.S.-based startup Vantage Point has a unique approach to tackling discrimination in the workplace: virtual reality. Led by founder Morgan Mercer – herself a biracial woman with no shortage of experience navigating unconscious bias and other forms of toxic workplace behavior – Vantage Point put learners in the virtual shoes of marginalized folk in an effort to educate trainees and help them better understand and correct their unconscious biases and other learned stereotypes. [READ MORE]

The Hidden Science Behind 2020’s Biggest Video Games (Discover Magazine)

Discover Magazine – a publication dedicated to celebrating exciting developments in science, medicine, technology, and more – has put together a fun piece highlighting the “hidden science” behind some of the year’s most popular games! From Mendelian inheritance in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Ophiocordyceps unilateralis in The Last of Us: Part II, there have been so many cool STEM themes and concepts featured this year’s games – and as huge believers in the power of video games as tools to spark learning and discover, we’re here for it! [READ MORE]

Looking for last month’s list? Find out what stories made our August 2020 roundup!

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