Blog Archives

Is Gaming “Losing the Culture War”?

Brian Crecente writes that;

“A culture war is raging in the United States right now and video games are losing.

That’s according to Gilman Louie, former video game developer, founder of a venture capital firm that works with U.S. intelligence agencies, and advisor to the CIA, NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency. Louie, who founded and ran Spectrum HoloByte before leaving the business of game development, was named one of fifty scientific visionaries by Scientific American in 2002.

‘The anti-gaming establishment owns the vocabulary and have done a very successful job of convincing many that interactive games are harmful (especially to children) and that screen time is to blame for most of the social ills,” Louie tells Polygon. “Whether it be the awful events that took place at Sandy Hook or bullying in schools, video games have been the easy target for those who wish to pass blame.'”

Crecente continues;

“Louie recommended that 0.1 percent of the $93 billion video game market be invested in various institutions and nonprofits to work to promote the positive aspects of gaming and how gaming can provide a competitive advantage for children.

The battle for the hearts and minds of the public continues.

“I was advocating the need for more research,” he said, “a closer affiliation with the education industry, a significant increase in scholarships for those pursuing career fields related to gaming…”

To read the full article by Brian Crecente on Polygon, click here;


Video Game Teaches Kids to Identify the Signs of a Stroke

Stroke Hero Stroke Hero: Gamification Raises Stroke Knowledge in Young Children

Rachael Rettner of LiveScience writes that;

“A short video game may help children identify the signs of a stroke, and call 911 if they witness someone having one, a new study suggests.

The study involved about 200 children ages 9 to 12 living a community with many people at high risk for stroke(the Bronx, N.Y.). The children were tested on their knowledge of stroke symptoms before and immediately after they played a 15-minute stroke education video game. The children were also encouraged to play the game at home, and tested again seven weeks later.

Children were 33 percent more likely to recognize stroke symptoms, and say they would call 911 in a hypothetical scenario immediately after they played the video game, compared with before.”

To read the full article click here;

Free video by Trip Hawkins about Games and Education – “Revolutionary Bedfellows: IF Teachers and Game Mechanics Unite to Innovate.”

GAMASTRA writes;

“In this free GDC Vault video from the first App Developers Conference, Trip Hawkins (EA, 3DO founder) discusses what the game industry can teach educational app developers who target a preteen audience by highlighting how his team will create iPad game IF…, in the talk “Revolutionary Bedfellows: IF Teachers and Game Mechanics Unite to Innovate.”

To watch the video click here;

if you can

Staffordshire University to Open Game Development Facilities

of Gamespot writes that;

“Epic Games collaborated with Staffordshire University in England to open the Epic Games Centre, a fully equipped space for use by students in the university’s games design courses.

“There’s a lot of talk about the need for the industry to get more involved with the academic process and have a greater input into how games design is taught,” European Territory Manager at Epic Games Mike Gamble said in press release. “This collaboration will enable Staffs students to have a direct link with Epic and a direct line to the heart of the industry. In turn, Epic and its developer partners will have access to these world-class facilities along with a new generation of game makers totally immersed within the world of Unreal Engine technology.”

To read the full article click here;

President Obama on Gaming and Education

 President Barack Obama's Video Game Buyer's Guide

Christina Farr writes that;

“the senior adviser for digital media at the White House, Mark DeLoura, says Barack Obama has taken a personal interest in games and gaming culture.

“I wouldn’t have this job if he wasn’t interested,” said DeLoura on stage at the GamesBeat 2013 conference.

DeLoura is a veteran gamer who has held senior leadership positions at Google, Sony, Nintendo, and others. He’s been working at the White House for seven months, which he describes as a far more formal environment than Silicon Valley.

“Some people do play games in the White House,” DeLoura told our GamesBeat lead reporter Dean Takahashi. “I’m trying to find those people and collect them, Pokémon-style.”

According to DeLoura, it hasn’t been easy task to recruit austere government officials for a gaming session. But DeLoura is dead-set on getting a group together to play Civilization once a week. “I point out that they are playing Candy Crush,” he said.

Educational gaming

Joking aside, the president is deeply concerned with improving education in our country. Games are an essential part of the conversation and strategy.

“I want you guys to be stuck on a video game that’s teaching you something other than just blowing something up,” Obama said at a press conference in in 2011, a few years before the Department of Education launched a grant for the country’s most talented educational gamers. DeLoura helped write the blog post announcing the initiative.

“He [Obama] wants to see Sasha and Malia playing a game that teaches them something,” DeLoura told me. In a 1-on-1 interview after his GamesBeat talk, he told me that the president’s daughters love to dance and play games that help them stay active — like Just Dance.

In recent months, DeLoura and his team have been researching how game dynamics can be applied to education. Can a game help kids learn new languages, make friends, or pickup technical skills?

DeLoura doesn’t believe that the tech industry has done nearly enough to support educational gaming, with a few exceptions. A few Silicon Valley investment firms focus on educational games, and Bill and Melinda Gates have been making large investments through their foundation.

One of DeLoura’s passion projects is to make it easier for parents and teachers to find great games and apps for kids at any age. He hopes that parents won’t dismiss all games, as a result of a few bad apples. “This is a real problem we need to tackle,” he said.

DeLoura’s favorite educational games?

1. DragonBox, a multiplatform math game.

“It’s awesome. After 90 minutes of play, 93 percent of kids could solve algebraic equations in Washington State.”

2. Reach for the Sun from Filament Games, a plant life-cycle sim.

“This game is new but it teaches kids biology. They can start with a seed and grow leave, roots, and petals.”

3. Minecraft, the indie building game sensation.

“Everyone plays this game. Now there’s a Minecraft teacher who teaches computing concepts. Google launched qCraft, which teaches quantum physics.”

Games that teach kids to code

DeLoura and the Obama administration are currently developing new programs to bolster coding education in schools. Games can certainly play a role — particularly those that teach young people to code.

Schools can adopt these games to support their coding curriculum. DeLoura points to a program in the U.K. called “computing,” which teaches digital skills to kids as young as 5.

In the U.S., he’s encouraged by the recent success of a nonprofit called, which is working with influencers in the entertainment industry, such as, to make programming seem cool to kids. DeLoura is help the organization promote “Hour of Code,” a campaign to introduce 10 million kids to computer science.”

To read the full article by Christina Farr  click here;

Brainy Fables Premium Apps Engage Children into Learning with Games and Original Karaoke Songs

Image of the world of Brainy Fables

“Brainy Fables is the first series of book apps for children 4-7 aimed at developing creative thinking through storytelling

Dual English and Spanish language options on all apps, create great reading opportunities for multi-lingual families and early language learners

Children will have an opportunity to learn and practice a new language while discovering life skills
Madrid, April 23, 2013 (PRWEB) April 24, 2013
     Entertainment content developer Next Stage Productions announced the dual language English/Spanish cross-platform release of Premium Brainy Fables apps as well as the release of improved Lite versions.

Brainy Fables is the first series of apps for kids aged 4-7 aimed at developing children’s creative thinking through storytelling, games and karaoke songs.

Five (5) Brainy Fables’ characters will guide children through the world of life skills and abilities such as: creative thinking, reaching “to the stars”, believing in yourself, problem solving, overcoming fear, capacity to take action and trying one’s best.

By reading, playing, singing, and talking about the challenges of Marcelo, Mirta and all the great Brainy Fables characters, children will have an opportunity to learn and practice English/Spanish language while discovering valuable lessons.

Each Premium app includes an interactive fable, two mini games and an original karaoke song and video with our Brainy Fables’ friends as the leading characters. Each of those elements will help parents and teachers bring positive messages into story time in a fun environment. “Night time, we are tired and we want our children to go to bed”, says author Franco Soldi, “but, what better way to do so than by having a nice and enriching conversation with our children with the help of one of our Brainy characters?”

Brainy Fables’ adventures have been lived up with music specifically created for each character. Rock, pop, country, salsa fusion or ethnic pop music is the vehicle for children to enjoy and learn in an entertaining atmosphere.

Every fable offers charming illustrations, animation and various features that enhance the reading experience – narrated or read myself options, hidden sounds and interactions, a summary of the story’s lesson, coloring pages, the ability for children to write and save their own ending to the story and a page for parents & teachers to help discuss the story’s message for children.

Brainy Fables are available in the iTunes Store and in Google Play and include Horacio the piglet, Mirta the super fly, Uxmal and the pyramid challenge, Marcelo the fox and Matias the rebellious chick.


Author Franco Soldi is a father, creator and communications expert who has focused much of his career on empowerment of youth and bringing ideas to life. As a founding partner at YPD Group and Next Stage, Franco Soldi works to create educational content for teens and children of the 21st century. Next Stage Productions is the developer of the Brainy Fables series and a growing slate of other upcoming entertainment properties.”

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It is good to see game developers focusing on critical thinking skills.

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Brainy Fables son una experiencia educativa y divertida para niños entre cuatro y siete años. Las apps, preciosamente ilustradas, utilizan el formato de la fábula clásica en cada cuento para transmitir un mensaje universal sobre el valor del pensamiento creativo para lograr objetivos.

  • Mirta la súper mosca

  • Marcelo el zorro

  • Uxmal y la pirámide

  • Horacio el cerdito

  • Matías el pollito rebelde

Anima a Marcelo, Uxmal y sus amigos coloreando sus aventuras.

Franco Soldi Nextstage

Franco Soldi es el autor de Brainy Fables y padre de dos niños. Trabaja con jóvenes pre-universitarios en ‘Young Potential Development’ desde hace años y ahora Franco escribe para los más pequeños de la casa.

Pedro Bascón ha ilustrado Brainy Fables convertiendo cada aventura en una experiencia visual para niños y padres. Pedro trabaja como ilustrador desde hace diez años especializándose en el ámbito de la educación y la infancia.

Brainy Fables apps han sido desarrolladas por la productora y distribuidora madrileña Next Stage.

For more information on current apps, visit

EdGamer discusses the top 10 video games of 2012 – (and which ones teachers can use)

EDGamer Banner4

EdGamer is one of my favorite podcasts.  The host, Zack Gilbert, and show contributor, Gerry James, are teachers who play games and use games in the classroom.  They have interviewed some of the leading researchers, practitioners, and experts on educational gaming (Dr. James Paul Gee, Dr. Jeremiah McCall, Dr. Lucas Gillispie, Dr. Crystle Martin, Sylvia Martinez, Joel Levin, and Jeff Holmes).  This is a great podcast for teachers, parents, and researchers.  In the future, I plan to post and discuss their conversations here on Gaming and education.  On EdGamer #83, The guys discuss Mashable’s Top 10 Video Games of 2012 and they discus which games teachers may use – and which games they should definitely not use in the classroom.  They also give a shout out to yours truly!  Thanks guys! I love what you are doing – keep up the good work!

To listen to EdGamer #83 click here

Joel Levin demos Minecraftedu at Quakecon

“There are many different mods for Minecraft on the PC available but one, MinecraftEdu, was created as a teaching aide for the classrom. Joel Levin, one of the creators of the mod, was at QuakeCon this week and gave a demonstration.”

Great demo of what is possible with Minecraft!

More students and teachers learn with the game Portal

Here are more videos on students learning through the video game Portal.


I found these videos at one of my favorite places –  The Singularity Hub.

Read full article

Gates Foundation sponsors game-based learning


“Game-based learning is one of the priorities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the Microsoft creator. . . .Two years ago, the nonprofit brought together 20 of the country’s best assessment designers with 20 of the world’s best game designers to discuss creating games that engage kids more deeply, said Vicki Phillips, director of the college ready strategy for the Gates Foundation.  Now the foundation is working with the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington on a free, online game called Refraction. As students play, their progress is visible to the teacher on his or her computer, allowing the educator to see instantly what concepts students understand.” – Jamie Sarrio

Full Article