Monthly Archives: February 2012

Michael Levine: Games: A Textbook for Digital Best Practices

“The game industry certainly understands how to engage youth with digital media. Well-designed game-based-learning platforms might help address many of the challenges facing education in the 21st century, including: The Engagement Challenge…The Literacy Challenge,  and The Job/Skills Challenge…”

via Michael Levine: Games: A Textbook for Digital Best Practices.

Written with Alan Gershenfeld, Founder and President of E-Line Media


Competition Promotes Digital Gaming in the Classroom – High School Notes (

“In an effort to circulate innovative ideas about integrating electronic gaming in the classroom, the NEA Foundation, in a partnership with Microsoft U.S. Partners in Learning, is hosting a competition for the best ideas on “how interactive technology and game-based learning can improve teaching and learning,” according to the Foundation’s website.”

via Competition Promotes Digital Gaming in the Classroom – High School Notes (

To Push Social Gaming Forward, Two New Startups Look To The Real World | TechCrunch

“Using this reality-based simulation model, the goal for Shadow Government is not only to create a gaming experience that is entertaining but also one that is decidedly educational. For example, the Millennium Institute wants the franchise’s games to become a part of the curriculum for K-12 education. In that sense, Shadow Government sounds like a suped-up, hyper-modern Sim City, that might even be tweaked into something that could be used to educate high school students in a civics class.”

Playing The News: To Push Social Gaming Forward, Two New Startups Look To The Real World | TechCrunch.

Steve Jobs endorsed gaming and education

Steve Jobs endorsed gaming and education back in 1990.

In this video, he discusses gaming and education at 2:15.

An Open Letter to Apple: You Need Gaming as Much as Gaming Needs You

“Maybe Steve Jobs wasn’t a huge gamer, but he certainly believed in the power of the video game medium as far back as 1990, specifically for education, a market which Apple is currently trying to revolutionize.” – Alfredo Gil

An Open Letter to Apple: You Need Gaming as Much as Gaming Needs You.

Free game “Burst!” integrates “a tad bit” of STEM.

“Our game is called Burst! and it’s meant to be the indie rhythm game for indie musicians! In Burst!, players queue up and detonate fireworks to the beat of music. We’ve also integrated a tad bit of STEM design (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into Burst!: Players unlock different elements off of the Periodic Table as they advance, which enables them to make new colors of fireworks — this is how real fireworks get colors.  Burst! is currently in a limited-functionality Flash-powered beta on the Android Market and it is available to play online.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Burst! | Joystiq.

Can playing World of Warcraft make you smarter? –

World of Warcraft

Anne McLaughlin and Jason Allaire, psychology professors at North Carolina University “run the Gains Through Gaming Lab, which examines how the playing of video games improves cognitive ability in older adults.  To test their theory, the researchers asked 39 adults ages 60 to 77 to play World of Warcraft for roughly two hours a day over a two-week period. They gave the test group a cognitive exam before the two-week period began, and again after the two weeks were up. They also had a control group of adults who did not play the game. The researchers found that two weeks of playing World of Warcraft … there was significant improvement in both spatial ability and focus for the participants who scored low on the initial test… The results of the study were published in the peer reviewed journal Computers in Human Behavior.” Can playing World of Warcraft make you smarter? –

U.S. gaming population has nearly tripled in three years


Study: U.S. gaming population has nearly tripled in three years

“The number of people playing video games in the U.S. has risen 241 percent since 2008, according to a new study from market research and consulting company Parks Associates. The study, Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games, claims 135 million people play at least one hour per month compared to 56 million in 2008. Seventeen percent of all gamers have downloaded a title on their smartphones, up from 7 percent in 2008.”  Stefanie Fogel

Study: U.S. gaming population has nearly tripled in three years | VentureBeat.


Games+Learning+Society Conference – June 13-15, 2012

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is excited to announce the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference 8.0 to be held June 13-15, 2012 at the Memorial Union on campus.

The GLS Conference is the premier event in the field of videogames and learning. Now in its eighth year, this grassroots “indie” event is evolving to include innovative content formats and new programming. The GLS Conference is one of the few destinations where the people who create high-quality digital learning media can gather for serious discussion about what is happening in the field and how the field can serve the public interest. Our event is well-known for its exceptionally high quality of content yet “community event” feel. Each year, we foster in-depth conversation and social networking across diverse disciplines including game studies, education research, learning sciences, industry, government, educational practice, media design, and business. Our continued commitment is to reinvent learning both in and out of formal schools through the promise of games and simulations.

Unfortunately, the deadline for submitting papers for the conference was Feb. 7, 2012!  Well, maybe next year.

GLS 8.0.

PBS Provides Free Game Making Resources

Atom Boy

On February 16, 2012, CPB / PBS Kids Ready to Learn Initiative hosted a webinar on making games for the PBS Kids Stream of the 2012 Challenge. The webinar features resources, Q and A, and a presentation on making educational games with Gamestar Mechanic by members of the Gamestar Team. via STEM Challenge