Entries opened last week for the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge . The competition accepts entries until March 12, 2012 in four categories: Middle School, High School, Collegiate(undergrad and grad), and Educators. The prize pool includes $30,000 for Collegiate Category winners and $40,000 for Educators.
Below is a video made by an NYU and a Carnegie Mellon game who made BattleShip Numberline and were one of the Collegiate Category winners. Their game is now featured on BrainPOP GameUp
A very nice summary and analysis of Thomas Malone and Mark Lepper (1987)’s article on “Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivation”. Basically, there are four factors that contribute to individual’s intrinsic motivation; Challenge, Curiosity, Control, and Fantasy and three factors that drive interpersonal motivation; Cooperation, Competition, and Recognition . In short, bringing back motivation into instructional system is the key.
Excerpt from the article, “Good learning games not only focus on intrinsic motivation, they attempt to achieve “intrinsic integration,”— the effective integration of a game idea with its learning content (Habgood, 2007, citing Kafai, 2001). How you achieve this intrinsic integration is still a debated topic (Habgood, 2007).”
I recently got a comment on the last post requesting more information about this event. I am happy to oblige.
The conference will be three days of talks covering a range of topics on serious games from speakers in industry and academia. Topics include potential uses for serious games, emerging markets, game design, as well as production, monetization, and marketing strategies. A couple sample titles are “Making Games That Don’t Stink: User Testing in Development” and “Autopia: A Serious Game on Long Range Fuel and Vehicle Transition.”
The speakers are a diverse group from industry and academia. The game industry is well-represented with CEOs and creative directors from several developers and publishers including E-Line Media and Breakaway. The entertainment and serious title developer, Breakaway, is probably best known for Civilization III. There are also speakers from market consulting firms and big tech companies like Google, IBM, and Boeing.
The full schedule is available for download in the program section of the conference website. The talks are categorized for audiences interested in serious games for grade-school education, corporate training, military and government simulation, health, and social good. There are also tracks of talks for game developers and academia. Many fall in multiple categories.
Clark Aldrich of Clark Aldrich Designs, Sue Bohle of Bohle Company, and the Digipen Institute of Technology are hosting the conference. DigiPen Institute of Technology is housing the event in Redmond, Washington from August 23-25.
I would not have guessed that “women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37%) than boys age 17 or younger (13%)” or that “91% of the time parents are present at the time games are purchased” for a user under age 18. And for those who have not heard, the average gamer is 37 years old.
The annual research was conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) at E3 2011.
The Global Video Games Investment Review shows current statistics and market trends for MMOs, casual/social games, mobile, console, and in-game advertising. The review was produced by Digi-Capital which is an investment bank focused on high growth digital companies across video games, technology, media and telecoms in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
The investment review omits any discussion of serious games. I suppose that they are not yet considered serious investments…
Games for Change Festival. New York, New York. June 20-22, 2011.
Hosted at NYU by the Games for Learning Insitute. Featuring a keynote by Al Gore, playable demos of six games in development, and full play of games awarded prizes. The website has Al Gore front and center looking like he has some very important thoughts percolating.
Games for Learning and Society Conference. Madison, Wisconsin. June 15-17.
This is the seventh year of the conference and registration is being further expanded to accommodate a larger audience. Event focii target game studies, education research, learning sciences, industry, government, educational practice, media design, and business.
Game Education Summit Redmond, Washington. June 21-23, 2011.
The Game Education Summit, now in its fourth year, is hosted by DigiPen and produced by Game Path LLC. The Game Education Summit is purposed to link industry and educators.
Serious Play Conference. Redmond, Washington. August 23-25, 2011.
The event is being produced by DigiPen, Clark Aldrich Designs, and the Bohle Company. There will be lectures and workshops designed for audiences in the game, medical, military, business, and education industries. Submissions for the conference’s International Serious Play Awards are due by July 1st.
An excerpt from the post: “Incorporating games or game-like elements as motivators for physical activity for kids has a lot of promise as well. At least, that’s the thinking behind a program like Zamzee. Zamzee is an online rewards program that incentivizes physical activity. In effect, it’s a technology aid that tries to “gamify” physical activity for teens.” This meter can record how much the kids are moving around and they can keep track of their own progress online.
The author provides very interesting comment at the end on the issue of extrinsic incentives that might have taken away the intrinsic motivation of doing a physical exercise. Definitely a point worth taking. Extrinsic rewards are certainly good at motivating and starting a desired behavior change. But then again, ‘how much is too much?’.
Check out a video and paper by Judy Willis, MD on applying a video game model as learning tool. In the article, she posits that “games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgment of incremental goal progress, not just final product. The fuel for this process is the pleasure experience related to the release of dopamine.”
Oklahoma State University has formally released its internal findings on an iPad pilot conducted during the Fall 2010 semester, showing that the device had a positive impact in an academic environment.
Game designer Ian Schreiber writes a blog post entitled My Problem With Gamification. In the post, he describes three main points that people are making regarding gamification: “(1) The education system in the US is broken. (2) Grades are an outdated game mechanic. This is part of the problem. (3) Replacing grades with other extrinsic motivations such as virtual currency is superior and will give students the motivation they need to learn.”
Schreiber points out two issues with these points. First, Schreiber points out, a grade is not a game mechanic at all, but rather a resource or a reward. Second, Schreiber cites the body of psychological research that has shown extrinsic rewards destroy intrinsic motivation. He points to some anecdotal evidence in which the introduction of badges caused students concentrate more on earning badges to the detriment of their learning.
While extrinsic rewards can certainly decrease intrinsic motivation (as has been shown in numerous studies), I don’t think it’s as simple as that. For example, one study by LeBlanc demonstrated that it is possible to use extrinsic rewards in ways to actually increase intrinsic motivation, especially by rewarding the quality of the work.
This paper examines the different strategies that may be used to develop museum games by focusing on two case studies currently underway at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The type of game and game play are the basic structural components of the game. Much like the narrative of a story, the game components must support the desired outcomes. Lack of clear definition of outcomes early in the design process may lead to games that do not address those outcomes. In addition, assessment is critical to understanding whether the game was successful and achieved the project goals. This paper reviews the different approaches taken by the development team in order to reach the educational goals and the methods of assessment incorporated into the projects from the outset.