About Serious Games

Serious games (SGs) or persuasive games are computer and video games used as persuasion technology or educational technology. They can be similar to educational games, but are often intended for an audience outside of primary or secondary education. Serious games can be of any genre and many of them can be considered a kind of edutainment.

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Thursday, 26 April 2007

Are Virtual Drugs a Gateway to the Real Thing?

RedLightCenter.com is more than your typical high-power adult dating site. Sure, there are lots of photos of women and men in various states of undress, and there's e-mail, ratings, an events calendar of band parties, open nights at bars, and sex-talk Internet radio shows. Besides all that, Red Light Center also has a multiuser virtual-reality system filled with naked and semi-naked avatars, bar scenes, pickup lines, and places to sneak off and have virtual sex.

Yes, virtual sex. The kind of virtual sex for which you type on your keyboard and your animated graphics character gets animated in 3-D with other characters right there on your computer's screen (provided you're running Windows, of course).

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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

'Speare is a fun game that teaches language and literacy skills

ApolloGames.ca is an innovative, independent game company. They specialize in the design of high quality online games and virtual environments, for youth and lifelong learners, that combine entertainment and challenging interfaces with educational features.

'Speare is a fun game that teaches language and literacy skills. Based on Romeo and Juliet, 'Speare integrates video game technology and educational goals to meet the needs of young learners.



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http://www.apollogames.ca/
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Serious Games Portal Site
Serious Games Wiki

Home coders distribute over Xbox Live

FOR THE FIRST TIME, homebrew coders using Microsoft's XNA programming environment will be able to distribute packaged executables of their code.
Released to community acclaim last year, XNA allows the simple creation of games for the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms, with a shared codebase. Previously, distributing games built for Windows in XNA meant sharing the source code, too.

Programming fans can now give away their Windows games on the net, and can also share games with other X360 users, providing they sign up to the XNA Creators Club, a group run by Microsoft requiring the tidy sum of $99 a year.

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Monday, 23 April 2007

ACT UK: The UK centre for construction management training using virtual reality stimulation technology.

A £6.3 million bid to establish the UK’s first advanced construction technology and training centre in Coventry has been approved by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

Building work on the ground breaking ACT-UK National Centre for Advanced Construction Technologies, at the Coventry University Technology Park, in Puma Way, is expected to start in spring 2007.

The scheme is to be officially launched in the New Year at an event whose keynote speakers will be Sir John Egan, the former boss of Jaguar, and Sir Michael Latham, whose Government-commissioned reports on improving efficiency, quality and working practices within construction have changed the face of the industry.

The centre aims to address skills shortages, improve the quality and quantity of training and sustain a life-long learning culture within the industry.

The flagship centre will offer training and induction courses from primary school level through to advanced management training for experienced construction staff and professionals.

A key part of the flagship project will be the Building Management Simulation Centre - a large virtual reality simulation theatre which will recreate a construction site environment and use professional actors to create a ‘real life’ on site scenario for training and developing construction managers.

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MyPhysicsLab – Physics Simulation with Java

These physics simulations can be used to:

  • play around with for fun... try dragging with your mouse, or changing parameter settings
  • learn about physics and how to set up a model of a physical system
  • learn about numerical methods for solving equations
  • learn about differential equations and techniques for solving them
  • learn computer programming (free source code is available)
    enhance your next video game project


http://myphysicslab.com

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Serious Games Wiki

Friday, 20 April 2007

Prime Minister praises Warwick's "Digital Lab"

Prime Minister praises "Digital Lab" that puts consumer in "mass customization" production process

The University of Warwick's Warwick Manufacturing Group is creating a Warwick Digital Laboratory - a £50 Million pound project which will provide a high quality research environment that will allow researchers to develop techniques that will place consumers right inside a "mass customization" production process for a vast range of future products.

Digital technologies extend the way we communicate; enabling the creation, sharing, use and exploitation of information in digital form to learn, explore and create innovative products and processes. The idea of creating a Digital Lab came from WMG Director Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya. Three of the fields of research to be undertaken in the Digital Lab include:

* Digital Manufacturing; a "cradle to grave" approach can be adopted for all products, where from conception (where potential customers can visualise and interact with a virtual product) to disposal (where policy makers can be shown that there will be no negative environmental impact)

* Mass customisation - consumers want individual products at the same cost as mass produced items. Digital technology allows the consumer to "insert themselves" in the production process so their product can be personalised to their individual needs and assembled wherever in the world the appropriate technology is available.

* Digital Healthcare; incorporating advanced digital approaches for the enhancement of medical diagnosis and care, as well as creating realistic virtual environments for the training of surgeons or the design of new operating theatres

The facility will also explore using virtual reality methods of presenting images
and data, to: help understand how people judge the quality of a product or service (Product Perception); support both marketing and operational functions; use 'Serious Games' to increase business agility and efficiency.

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Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Ratchet Reaches Out

Insomniac Games takes over Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

ABC's popular reality television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has made a habit of helping families in need. Domiciles made up of returning war veterans, devastated tornado victims, and selfless hurricane Katrina volunteers are just a few of many that have benefited from a surprise household remodeling. Now, the folks at Insomniac Games want to pitch in and help out a family too.

On Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's April 22 episode, the Burbank, California-based developer will unveil a digital version of 9-year-old James Westbrook for use in Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.

James Westbrook, Future SuperstarWestbrook, the victim of a car accident that left him paralyzed in July 2006, never lost his passion for playing videogames or the desire to design one of his own. James' father, SFC Gene Westbrook, was paralyzed himself when he was hit by a mortar at an American mess hall in Baghdad, Iraq two years earlier.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2007

World Without Oil: An ARG

Imagine a world where oil reserves are running out and you must cope by developing alternative ways of getting through your day. Some people might call that reality, but it's also the premise of an upcoming Alternate Reality Game,"World Without Oil," set to launch April 30.

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http://worldwithoutoil.org/
http://www.oilless.info
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Serious Games Wiki

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Discussions follow Folding@home success

Sony is currently in talks with a number of companies on the commercial use of the PlayStation 3.

Following the launch of the Folding@home initiative, where latent PS3 power is used to help calculate research for Stanford University, commercial businesses could soon make use of similar scheme, reports the Financial Times.

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http://folding.stanford.edu/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding@home

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Friday, 13 April 2007

Can video games help species survive?

Four-year-old Bernas isn't the computer wizard his mom is, but he's learning. Just the other day he used his lips and feet to play a game on the touch-screen monitor as his mom, Madu, swung from vines and climbed trees.

Gene Blythe, Associated PressMadu, a Sumatran orangutan at Zoo Atlanta, plays games on a touch screen monitor built into a tree-like structure on Tuesday. The two Sumatran orangutans at Zoo Atlanta are playing computer games while researchers study the cognitive skills of the orange and brown primates. The best part? Zoo visitors get to watch their every move.

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Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Fun isn’t enough: why video games have to move beyond simple escapism

Video games should not just be “fun.” They shouldn’t just serve as “entertainment.” As gamers, we have been present for the birth and adolescence of what may be the single most important and inclusive art form in the history of mankind, and yet all we ever do with that art form is create better and prettier methods of driving fast, shooting accurately, and blowing things up spectacularly. It may seem odd to demand more than just simple entertainment from a medium that has provided us with nothing but for the past thirty years, but an escape from escapism is exactly what the medium needs.

The time has come for video gaming to move beyond a simple diversion, and become something more. Escapism isn’t enough: it’s about time for video games to be disturbing, depressing, timely, political, thought-provoking, and, above all, meaningful.

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Monday, 9 April 2007

Game collector is archiving the best

Henry Lowood, curator for the history of science and technology collections at Stanford University libraries, is in charge of a major project involving the archiving of 25,000-plus video games.

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Saturday, 7 April 2007

Future games to harness players' collective wisdom

SAN FRANCISCO--The future of games, particularly of games in education, government or industry, might well lie in players' ability to work together to solve problems.

That's the prediction of Jane McGonigal, a longtime developer of alternate-reality games who has now gone to work as the in-house game developer for the Institute for the Future, an independent nonprofit research group that forecasts future trends.

"I'm officially the first person in the world "whose job title includes the phrase, 'I design games from the future,'" McGonigal told the packed house during her keynote speech at the Serious Games Summit of the Game Developers Conference here Tuesday.

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Sunday, 1 April 2007

PlayStation's serious side: Fighting disease

Sony worked with Stanford University's Folding@home project to harness the PS3's technology to help study how proteins are formed in the human body and how they sometimes form incorrectly.

Improperly formed proteins are linked to a number of diseases, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gherig's disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as mad-cow disease.

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Playing virtual reality computer games may help treat the condition known as amblyopia

Playing virtual reality computer games may help treat the condition known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, say researchers.

In patients with amblyopia, one eye works better than the other. Because the amblyopic eye is inferior for some reason, the brain decides to use the good eye.

Over time, the neural connection to the bad eye becomes gradually weaker in favour of the good eye.

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Making History in Dave McDivitt's Classroom

CBS aired the story about Oak Hill and the use of Making History in Dave McDivitt's classroom this week:

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