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Some Struggles Teachers Face Using Games in the Classroom Lack of time and administrative support are just some of the obstacles to using games in the classroom. Continue Reading The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning explains key ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. Continue Reading How Digital Games Help Teachers Make Connections to Lessons and Students Teachers finding the most success are good at creatively connecting the game back to the curriculum, while allowing it to maintain the qualities of a good game. Continue Reading Video Games and the Future of the Textbook Curriculum designers are rethinking not only the textbook, but educational content delivery in general. Continue Reading Could Video Games Measure Skills That Tests Can’t Capture? Researchers are experimenting with playable tests capable of capturing learning in action. Continue Reading Screen Time That’s Valuable For Young Kids Related:  Games

How To Choose A Learning Game Getty Part 17 of MindShift’s Guide to Games and Learning Many teachers are excited about trying games in the classroom but don’t know where to begin. The landscape of learning games is vast and confusing — and it’s growing and changing rapidly. Moving at the pace of the software industry, games are often updated and iterated so that new versions replace familiar ones before you’ve even had a chance to implement them in your classroom routine. And teachers have busy schedules. On the other hand, not exploring, updating and reinventing our teaching strategies can cause us to miss valuable opportunities to reach students. Is It Fun? Selecting the right game can be like walking the teachers’ tightrope. This is the same tension an English teacher might be forced to mediate when picking a text. Cool and fun are not the same thing. Think about games the same way. The Mechanics Matter Most The best learning games are always fun. Are You Comfortable? Related

The Origins of Flow | Motivate. Play. - Aurora As a reader of MP, there's a decent chance that you're already familiar with the concept of "flow" championed by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced like this, not this). If you aren't up to speed on it, fear not; I'll go into the details in just a moment. The notion is immensely popular among game designers and theorists, whether they want to leverage games' power to put us into a flow state to pursue social good, are using psychophysiological tools to quantify flow and keep players in it, or simply using it as the blueprint for good game design. But as much as the games community wants to take flow as its own, there's more to the story. I finally sat down and read Csikszentmihalyi's principal book on the topic, and the truth of the matter is that "flow" is much more than a gaming concept. The key realization, and the one Csikszentmihalyi is famous for, is that there's a sweet spot where challenge and skill are well-matched that he dubbed the "flow channel".

The Gamification of Education and Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Learning Benefits Guest post by Jane Wolff. The current trend towards the increased use of games and game mechanics in instructional situations could probably have been foreseen quite some time ago. Stretching right back to the primitive gaming technology of the ZX Spectrum in the early 80’s, kids were hooked. As a wider variety and higher quality of educational games have been produced, it is really no surprise that educationists have gravitated towards further use of them as tools in the learning environment. Is this necessarily a positive development, however? A recent article on the subject makes for interesting reading. In 2011, Joey J. ‘Cognitive’ benefits include the development of problem-solving skills. Gamification can, according to Lee, be a powerful tool in addressing the child’s ‘emotional’ needs. The ‘social’ benefits of gamification may not be immediately apparent, since gaming has a rather unfair image of being an antisocial activity as games are often played alone. About Kelly Walsh

Welcome to Flow in Games Abstract | Introduction | Foundation | Design Flow in Games | Implement Flow in Games | Conclusion | Bibliography “TWENTY-THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness...” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) Motivation In the last 30 years, as a form of entertainment, video games have evolved from confined arcade activities into a mature media. Video games have deeply infiltrated our daily life and our society. As if toys expanded every child’s imagination, modern videogames take advantage of a player's active involvement to open more possibilities than any other existing mediums. However, video games are still recognized by the majority, who do not play video games, as shallow and aggression-provoking materials. Due to the nature of marketing and business, making video games purely for non-gamers is too risky and impractical. The quality and the budget of typical commercial video games today can easily reach over 20 million dollars.

Introducing a Game-Based Curriculum in Higher Ed Continuing from last week’s post about “The Gamification of Education”, this week we bring you a guest post from Justin Marquis, who examines the why’s and how’s of incorporating game based learning elements into the higher education curriculum. The gamification movement is in full-effect with its fair share of proponents and opponents. Those in favor of the idea most often cite student motivation and the ability of games to simulate real world circumstances so that learners can safely explore these environments without endangering themselves or others. Those on the other side of the argument think gamification is just a fad and that there is no real transfer of what is learned in games to the real world. There is enough research on both sides to support either point of view, but perhaps those most opposed to the incorporation of games into their curriculum just don’t know where to begin? Why Games in Higher Ed? About Kelly Walsh Print This Post

Neurology of Gaming, Infographic « All Kinds of Minds As with most things, “gaming” (or being engaged in video games) has both positives and negatives when it comes to developing minds. Too much gaming, and the positive effects are overshadowed by the negative. Yet, the right balance can add another avenue for pursuing educational goals and achievement. As a result, more and more programs are using gaming to reach and teach students in ways they never could before. Therapy programs, schools, and even research scientists have all benefitted from the strategic use of games to increase successes. Below is an infographic from Online Universities looking at the brain on games. Image: Online University Like this: Like Loading...

Dissertation « The Dreaming Game Designer This large post has the final version of my dissertation, be advised that the word count came in at 6585 words, it’s a long read but you should be able to just skip to the Further Issues & The Nature of Puzzles sections right at the end without losing out on too much content. The Challenge of Puzzle Solving in Games – Robert Farr Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of BA in Creative Computer Games Design at Swansea Metropolitan University (Formerly Swansea Institute of Higher Education) Table of Contents Word Count 6585 Chapter 1: Introduction What is a game? In order to do the above it is first necessary to examine the definition of a game as this informs further discussion of the reasons for why adventure games have suffered recently. For simplicity we shall instead focus on a definition authored by game designer Greg Costikyan. What is a First Person Shooter? What is a Graphic Adventure Game? Chapter Summary Chapter 2: First Person Shooter Half-Life Far Cry 2

Making Computer Games Is Easy « Meditations on First Gaming Phil Well, not really. Obviously the process of actually making a real game is laboriously difficult and beset with more problems than you could ever presuppose (which is sort of the point), so difficult that any project of any size will find it hard to ever estimate how long their game will take to make. If we are talking man hours to actual end content making games is ludicrously difficult. So maybe we can say finishing a game is hard, but actually making one? As in, getting out a tech demo/general proof of concept and letting it evolve? Now that, well that isn’t that hard. Mario is a paradigm we all understand, controls and rules we are familiar with, so where ever the game wants to pull off its quirk (Time Travel! But that’s the thing. My premier theory for Why All Games Are Shit ™ (Alternatively: Why Gaming Isn’t An Art-form ™ or Why All Mainstream Games Are The Same ™) is that to ever get to the position in any studio that gets its works published you’d already have to A. Like this:

National Geographic, plan it green! Following the news and arguments on city builders’ games, 18th of March last National geographic published a social simulation game. Plan it Green, a new generation serious game, helps with a casual gameplay building the youth ecological awareness. National Geographic, the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational organisation founded to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge, has developed in partnership with GE (NYSE: GE) and the Center for Science, a free-to-play online game allowing players to design their own city and build it into the greenest, most energy-efficient urban centre in the world. The lesson that National Geographic teaches takes the player a step further than those normally learned at school. Built on a multi-player online platform, Plan it Green teaches about energy technology and better energy future. To discover more about Plan it Green, click HERE.

20 best designs in video games | Video games Anything you can possibly imagine can be realised in a video game, so why dedicate all your time to simply replicating the designs and patterns that we're used to in reality? But some designers get it right, playing to the strengths of the medium, and creating games that are visually striking and artistically inspiring. Here, we pick our 20 favourite designs in games history and grab some leading games designer views. The hood - Assassin's Creed The stories of the Assassin's Creed heroes are separated by hundreds of years, but there's one stylish visual hallmark that ties them together: the hood. Fashion may change over the centuries, but hoods will always be around in some form, which makes Ubisoft's decision to incorporate it into their costume designs a stroke of genius. It also makes sense in the context of the game, as the secretive Assassins use it to conceal their identity. Designer view Master Chief's armour - Halo Halo's world can best be described as 'hard sci-fi'. Designer views

Indie Resources On the 30th July 2014 the site got updated, restrutured and redesigned… however the update is still not finished and thus this new Indie Resources overview page is partly incomplete. In case you are missing something you can still check out the outdated old Indie Resources page until the update is complete. Thank you for your understanding. (Game Making Tools, Game Design, Postmortems, Programming, Project Management…) (Create/Download Graphics, Hire Graphic Designer…) (Create/Download Sound + Music, Hire Sound Designer/Musician/Voice Actor…) (Distribution of Game via Payment Processor, Digital Store, Free File Hoster…) (Starting & Running A Business, Game Revenue, Postmortems…) (released…but still unfinished. rest of the articles will be added in the next few days.)

Deft and intuitive player character movement in a 2D platformer Recently, I released Empty Black, my 2D shooter/puzzler/platformer. In this article, I’ll describe how I made the player movement deft and intuitive. Play the game before you read on, so you’ll know what I’m talking about. My general approach was to change something, then try it out. One. Two. Three. Four. To the algorithm. The short version: a pile of hacks. The long version: The player presses the jump key. Empty Black uses Box2D to control the physics of the game world. Except, it’s not quite that simple. This technique is used frequently as a way for the player to get the character up a narrow shaft. This ability is bounded. The bound makes it harder to decide if the character has a solid footing. Fortunately, Box2D has a metaphysical object that complements the corporeal walls, enemies and bullets: the sensor. What I did was to attach a wide, short sensor to the bottom of the character. Notice how the sensor overlaps the ground. How does that help? One. Two. There is an exception.

Make Games - Finishing a Game