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

A warm welcome to the wonderful month of September! As the autumn breeze begins to weave its magic, we’re thrilled to announce a captivating new installment of your favorite blog series – What’s New in Game-based Learning!

via Tenor

For those who are joining us for the first time, this series is your monthly gateway to the scintillating world of educational games! Each month, it serves as a comprehensive recap, bringing you the hottest news stories and thrilling announcements about educational gaming, AR and VR, and games for impact. Our mission is to keep you informed, engaged, and inspired as we explore our industry’s latest trends and happenings.

We can’t wait to share the latest news stories with you. Whether you’re a seasoned Filafriend or a newcomer eager to dive into the world of game-based learning, we encourage you to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. Your comments and questions are always welcome! Don’t have time to read this post right now? Bookmark it so you can return to it later without a hitch. 

This stunning hand-painted video game took 7 years to create (Fast Company)

This one’s for art and art history buffs! The Master’s Pupil is a hand-painted video game created by Pat Naoum that took seven years to develop. The game is a puzzle adventure set within the eye of the famous French painter Claude Monet. Players navigate through Monet’s iris, solving puzzles based on color, physics, and space to help complete his paintings. The game’s unique aesthetic is intentionally unpolished, providing a textured, three-dimensional appearance despite being flat.

The game revolves around the life of a painter, inspired by close-up images of eyes and the evolution of Monet’s own art style as he developed cataracts and lost his eyesight. Players explore various Monet paintings and experience changing art styles that match Monet’s progression from realism to abstraction. Check out the full article to learn more about how this game was crafted!

Schoolgirls in Kazakhstan introducing video games into educational processes (KazinForm)

via KazinForm

Recently, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a gamification hackathon was organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners, involving fifty Kazakhstani schoolgirls. These girls had previously completed an online course by UNICEF and the GameLab video game development and research laboratory at Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU), as part of a global initiative to support girls in STEAM. The hackathon aimed to put their skills into practice, following their mastery of basic game development skills and insights into the video game industry from the course.

While women and girls constitute a significant portion of global gamers, they make up only 24 percent of the gaming industry’s workforce. This hackathon aimed to challenge stereotypes and encourage more girls to pursue careers in fields like IT. UNICEF’s representative in Kazakhstan emphasized the belief that girls can excel in any scientific field, while the hackathon’s participants were guided by mentors who discussed various aspects of career development in the tech industry. Want to know more about the ins and outs of this competition? Uncover all of the details in the full article. 

Game Changers: Inside The Epic Quest to Make Gaming More Accessible (PC Mag)

The movement to make video games more accessible to disabled users is gaining momentum. PC Mag recently interviewed avid gamer and content creator Jean Molla, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. On his YouTube channel, Molla demonstrates the potential of accessible technology by playing games using voice commands and software. Molla, along with 46 million disabled gamers in the US, faces challenges due to limited mobility, making traditional controllers unsuitable. To address this, organizations like AbleGamers are pushing for accessible tech in the gaming industry.

The path toward assistive technology began with Nintendo’s hands-free controller in the early days, but video games largely lagged behind other media in terms of inclusivity. However, a turning point arrived in 2010 with the Video Communications Act, pushing for more accessibility in modern communications technologies, including video games. Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, developed in collaboration with AbleGamers, marked a significant milestone, enabling gamers with limited mobility to customize their gaming experience. Although progress has been made, challenges like cost barriers and the need for broader inclusivity remain. Discover more about accessibility in video games throughout the past couple of decades to the present by reading the full article linked above. 

Ready to Level Up? How Game2Work is using serious gaming to transform engineering education (Iowa State University)

Iowa State’s Game2Work initiative, led by professors Michael Dorneich and Michael Brown, is harnessing the potential of serious gaming to address the shortage of STEM professionals. This interdisciplinary research project aims to integrate video games into engineering education to foster an engineering identity, enhance STEM course competence, and facilitate collaboration and connection in the field.

The project includes activities like game jams for middle schoolers to experience programming concepts, encouraging students to view themselves as problem solvers and creators through technology. Game2Work also explores how gamification can enhance STEM course engagement by utilizing badges, leaderboards, and rewards to boost student agency and success.

Furthermore, the initiative focuses on the intersection of serious gaming and the workplace, connecting researchers from various disciplines, K-12 STEM educators, and professionals from digital simulation and game design companies to explore the practical applications of serious gaming in engineering education and beyond. Learn more about the Game2Work initiative by reading the full article!

This video game could solve the cybersecurity job crisis (Fast Company)

To wrap up, here’s yet another way games are helping address the lack of STEM professionals! World of Haiku, winner of the 2023 Innovation by Design Awards, is a video game designed to address the shortage of cybersecurity professionals. With the increasing demand for cybersecurity skills, the field is facing a talent gap that needs to be filled. The game allows players to learn and demonstrate real-world cybersecurity tools and skills, aligning with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s NICE framework for cybersecurity education.

The game aims to make cybersecurity education more accessible by using a popular role-playing format that appeals to a diverse audience. Haiku, the company behind the game, has partnered with colleges to broaden its user base and enable students to enhance their skills. World of Haiku is available for individual purchase on the gaming platform Steam, and the company also offers corporate subscriptions for training employees. Additionally, the game tracks players’ security skills and creates a digital résumé that can be showcased to potential employers. Discover all the details by clicking the link to the full article above. 

Another new month, another roundup of incredible game-based learning news! These articles illuminate the transformative potential of games in diverse realms, from art to STEM. Have an idea for a game-changing experience for your company, community, or institution? We’re educational game developers with 18 years of experience, and we’re here to help you make your ideas a reality. Contact us today!

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