An occupational safety training videogame
for construction workers with horrifying accident simulation. [more inside]
As the conversation
about the state of games criticism continues
, there is a site that acts as a platform for some of the best writing in the field by theorists, critics, and independent developers: Nightmare Mode dot net
. [more inside]
is an effective resource
for adolescents with depressive symptoms
. It is at least as good as treatment as usual, would be cheaper and easier to disseminate, and could be used to increase access to therapy. It could provide access to treatment for young people who may be reluctant to have more conventional therapy."
It's a video game
that teaches cognitive behavior theraputic techniques.
It's All Games Now: The Convergence of Games and Social Media
(video, 61 minutes), is a talk given by Raph Koster, one of the lead designers of the MMO Ultima Online, at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online in Austin Texas. In it he looks at how digital games have changed as a social experience from MUDs to World of Warcraft, where they are going in the future, and the bleed between games and the real world. Koster has posted a summary here
on his site. [more inside]
The 'attention economy'
is so 2007. Now we have the 'engagement economy'
. How to turn attention into engagement so we can enlist average joes to help save the world? How about permeating the game-reality boundary
? Futurist, game-designer
, and existential cookie roller Jane McGonigal
assures us that gamers and gameplay are the answer to real world problems
. And, apparently Serious Games are geting better
. Killer Flu
, Chore Wars
, and Evoke
are recent advances. The 7th annual Games4Change Festival
, ending today, offers a spate of new promises. Hope or hype?
is an educational game for students that's meant to teach geography in a fun and interesting manner, but I think it just proves how soul-crushingly difficult it is for a Westerner like me to eek out subsistence living when I'm, say, the fifth child of seven in an impoverished nation somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. Add this one to the list of socially aware games
) that have been popping up here and there these last few years.
Let's Play Genocide
MTV's Darfur Digital Activist online game contest has posted the four finalist teams' prototypes for voting. In Fetching Water
, "you are a Darfurian trying to to make it the well to get water without becoming a victim of the Janjaweed." When do social impact games
cross the line from raising awareness into trivializing?
While groups like the Serious Games Initiative
are working on making games effective teaching tools, and Social Impact Games
are categorizing hundreds of socially useful games, there are some simulations and "serious games" available now which can also be a lot of fun (at least for a little while). Online, you can try your hand at the basics of sailing
, setting wildfires
, learning photography
, or experience a heavy-handed simulation of the war on terror
. Less seriously, there is the stapler simulator
and the zombie attack simulator
. For a bit more involved experience, download a college administration simulator
, the UN's Food Force
, and, soon, a simulation on the Rwandan genocide
. Is learning this way actually useful, or do we have further to go, first?
[Flash, Shockwave, and Java used in some links. Some prev. here and here]