InforMedia Services (IMS)

Technology Instruction for St. Cloud State University

Archive for the 'gaming' Category

Recommendations for games and gaming at LRS

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 19th March 2015

Gaming and Gamification in academic and library settings (paper)

Based on the literature regarding games, gaming, gamification, game-based learning, and serious games, several clear trends emerge:

  1. Gaming and gamification in the sense of game-based learning is about using games and game-like tactics in the education process, for greater engagement and better learning outcomes. However, this is only the first level of such initiative. The second and higher level is about involving students in the game-building and gamification of the learning process (as per Vygotsky’s Zone of…) thus achieving student-centered and experiential learning.
  2. When hosting games and gaming in any library, “in-person” or electronic/online games are welcome but not sufficient to fulfill their promise, especially in an academic library. Per (1), an academic library has the responsibility to involve students and guide them in learning how to engage in the building process required in true game-based learning.
  3. Game-based learning, gaming and gamification in particular, in educational (academic library) settings must consider mobile devices and the BYOD movement in particular as intrinsic parts of the entire process. Approaching the initiative primarily by acquiring online “in-person” games, or game consoles has the same limited educational potential as only hosting games, rather than elevating the students to full guided engagement with game-based learning. If public relations and raised profile are the main goals for the academic library, such an approach is justified. If the academic library seeks to maximize the value of game-based learning, then the library must consider: a. gaming consoles, b. mobile devices as part of a BYOD initiative and c. cloud-based / social games, such as MineCraft, SimCity etc.
  4. Design for game-based learning, gaming and gamification in educational (academic library) settings must include multiple forms of assessment and reward, e.g. badges, leaderboards and/or certificates as an intrinsic part of the entire process. Merely hosting games in the academic library cannot guarantee true game-based learning. The academic library, as the forefront of a game-based learning initiative on campus, must work with faculty on understanding and fine tuning badges and similar new forms of assessment and reward, as they effectively implement large scale game-based learning, focused on the students’ learning gains.

Recommendations for LRS

  1. In regard to LRS, the gaming and gamification process must be organized and led by faculty, including housing and distributing the hardware, software and applications, when needed.
  2. The attached paper and the respective conclusions summarized in four points demand educational and experiential background, which is above the limits of the LRS staff. In addition, the LRS staff has clearly admitted that the pedagogical value of gaming and gamification is beyond their interest. This recommendation is not contradicting to the fact and opportunity for LRS staff to participate in the process and contribute to the process; it just negates the possibility of staff mandating and leading the process, since it will keep the gaming and gamification process on a very rudimentary level.
  3. The process must be further led by faculty with a terminal degree in education (Ph.D.) and experience in the educational field, since, as proved by the attached paper and 4 point conclusion, the goal is not a public-library type of hosting activities, but rather involving students in a pedagogically-sound creative process, with the respective opportunity for assessment and future collaboration with instructors across campus. This recommendation is not contradicting the fact and opportunity for LRS library faculty to participate actively in the process and contribute to the process. It just safeguards from restricting the process to the realm of “public-library” type of hosting activities, but failing to elevate them to the needs of an academic campus and connecting with instructors across campus.
  4. This conclusions adhere to and are derived from the document recommended by the LRS dean, discussed and accepted by LRS faculty in 2013 about new trends and directions in academic libraries, namely diversification of LRS faculty; breaking from the traditional library mold of including faculty from different disciplines with different opinions and ideas.

Posted in gamification, gaming | 1 Comment »

games for teaching, learning, assessment

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 18th March 2015

Zondle

https://www.zondle.com/publicPagesv2/

 

Posted in gamification, gaming, learning | 1 Comment »

Gender, Identity, and Video Games

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 13th February 2015

Gender, Identity, and Video Games

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Northrop — Best Buy Theater

Video game demos: 3-4:15pm

Discussion: 4:15-5:30pm

Join us for a discussion about the structural inequalities and prejudices present within the video games culture and industry from a variety of viewpoints. We will explore the ways underrepresented genders and races historically have been treated in technological sectors and how they are specifically manifested in video game culture. We will hear from scholars, students, and members of the broader community in the Twin Cities. Before the event, participate in a social exhibition of games made by students and local developers. Light refreshments will be provided.

http://ias.umn.edu/2015/02/19/games/

Amy Elizabeth Neeser
Research Services & Plant Sciences Librarian

Experts@Minnesota Communications Lead

University of Minnesota
85 Magrath Library
1984 Buford Ave | Saint Paul, MN 55108

(612) 624-7899

Posted in announcement, gaming | No Comments »

games for building and exploration

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 9th February 2015

Beyond Minecraft: Games That Inspire Building and Exploration

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/11/beyond-minecraft-games-that-inspire-building-and-exploration/

1. Garry’s Mod 

garryscreenshotGarry’s Mod (GMod) is a sandbox game like Minecraft but instead of building and exploring, students use a fun physics engine that simulates things like gravity and mass. They also use a virtual toy box of assets from Valve Software’s popular games. The tool is a step up in complexity from the elegant simplicity of Minecraft, but with Garry’s Mod, students are exposed to physics concepts while having madcap fun.

2. Kerbal Space Program

kerbal_screenshotKerbal Space Program has a robust physics engine too, but it’s more focused than Garry’s Mod. Players purchase rocket parts, put them together, and then see if they can get a ship into orbit, to one of two moons, or even to another planet. These aren’t easy tasks, so play is focused on trial and error testing, and, like Minecraft, seeking help from the community is part of a successful strategy.

3. Sound Shapes 

soundshapes_screenshotSound Shapes is a visually stunning platform puzzle game set to a rich musical soundscape. Even better: students can create and share their own levels – like interactive sheet music — using sounds and objects unlocked by playing the platform game. It’s an accessible entry point into musical composition as well as game design, and provides an experience that builds on the creativity of Minecraft while offering something wholly unique for music lovers.

4. DIY

DIYFor creative kids who want to get their hands dirty, check out DIY, a site where students can find things to build, instructions for how to build them, and ways to share their creations with others. All projects are aligned to 50 skills that run the gamut from outdoors to indoors, and feature various challenges to complete and cool badges to earn and display.

5. STENCYL

screen568x568Computer programming is a great next step for students who love to mod Minecraft or toy around with the redstone resource (which simulates basic logic and circuitry). One solid entry-level tool is Stencyl, a game creation program focused on codeless, cross-platform game making. By snapping blocks of code together, students can create games that can be published and played on a variety of platforms including mobile phones.

6. CODECADEMY

Codecademy is a web-based, self-paced site that teaches actual industry-standard languages like PHP, Javascript, Python, Ruby, HTML, and CSS. While students don’t create publishable games like they would in Stencyl, their learning is purpose-driven and contextualized, e.g. JavaScript for web development or Ruby for app development. And students do get to see their code’s output directly onscreen.

Minecraft has introduced a lot of youth to games as well as the critical thinking, problem solving, and creation skills necessary for self-motivated learning. The games and sites on this list have the potential to extend that learning, providing fresh outlets for self-expression in the digital world and beyond.

More on gaming in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=minecraft

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=games

Posted in gamification, gaming | 1 Comment »

badges

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 4th February 2015

4 Benefits To Using Badges In Online Learning

http://elearningindustry.com/using-badges-in-online-learning

greater autonomy for students, greater levels of feedback, and a variety of assignments.

More on badges in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=badges

In each of the classes for which I use badges I have 24 different badges that students can earn. Each one is a “micro-assignment” which asks students to apply some concept or set of concepts we are covering in the class. Students submit their responses and if they meet the badge criteria they earn the badge. When they earn a badge they receive the points for that in their grades and also receive a badge graphic uploaded to their own personal profile which only they can see. One feature I would like to incorporate is the ability to share these badges via their social networks but I am not sure about how this would work with regard to FERPA requirements. More research on my part is needed regarding this.

If the student does not earn the badge, they are provided with detailed feedback and allowed to resubmit to try and earn the badge. They can submit as many times as they want or need to in order to earn the badge. Students need to earn a minimum of 14 badges to earn a C in the course and 18 badges to earn an A.

Posted in gamification, gaming, instructional technology, learning, mobile learning, online learning, pedagogy | 1 Comment »

Microsoft’s HoloLens

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 25th January 2015

Microsoft’s HoloLens explained: How it works and why it’s different

http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-hololens-explained-how-it-works-and-why-its-different/

Microsoft’s HoloLens prototype has all the innards of a computer built directly into the headset. That means no cords or even a smartphone required.

Just as VR rivals Oculus (owned by Facebook) and Google are trying to reimagine virtual experiences with their head-worn devices, Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you.

 

Posted in gaming, information technology, mobile devices, mobile learning, technology literacy | No Comments »

Games and the Brain

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 25th January 2015

This Is Your Brain On Games

http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/this-is-your-brain-on-games/

“Action video games have a number of ingredients that are actually really powerful for brain plasticity, learning, attention, and vision,” says brain scientist Daphne Bavelier in her TED Talk on the subject.

In February, Italian researchers found that playing fast-paced video games can improve the reading skills of children with dyslexia.

In 2012, scientists at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that high school gamers who played video games two hours a day were better at performing virtual surgery than non-gaming medical residents.

Posted in brain, Digital literacy, gaming, learning | No Comments »

Super Mario gets artificial intelligence

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 25th January 2015

Researchers create ‘self-aware’ Super Mario with artificial intelligence

http://mashable.com/2015/01/19/super-mario-artificial-intelligence/

A team of German researchers has used artificial intelligence to create a “self-aware” version of Super Mario who can respond to verbal commands and automatically play his own game.

Artificial Intelligence helps Mario play his own game

Students at the University of Tubingen have used Mario as part of their efforts to find out how the human brain works.

The cognitive modelling unit claim their project has generated “a fully functional program” and “an alive and somewhat intelligent artificial agent”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/30879456

Can Super Mario Save Artificial Intelligence?

The most popular approaches today focus on Big Data, or mimicking humansthat already know how to do some task. But sheer mimicry breaks down when one gives a machine new tasks, and, as I explained a few weeks ago, Big Data approaches tend to excel at finding correlations without necessarily being able to induce the rules of the game. If Big Data alone is not a powerful enough tool to induce a strategy in a complex but well-defined game like chess, then that’s a problem, since the real world is vastly more open-ended, and considerably more complicated.

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/can-super-mario-save-artificial-intelligence

Posted in Digital literacy, educational technology, gamification, gaming, student-centered learning | No Comments »

AI

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 20th January 2015

The Deep Mind of Dennis Hassabis

In the race to recruit the best AI talent, Google scored a coup by getting the team led by a former video game guru and chess prodigy

https://medium.com/backchannel/the-deep-mind-of-demis-hassabis-156112890d8a

the only path to developing really powerful AI would be to use this unstructured information. It’s also called unsupervised learning— you just give it data and it learns by itself what to do with it, what the structure is, what the insights are.

One of the people you work with at Google is Geoff Hinton, a pioneer of neural networks. Has his work been crucial to yours?

Sure. He had this big paper in 2006 that rejuvenated this whole area. And he introduced this idea of deep neural networks—Deep Learning. The other big thing that we have here is reinforcement learning, which we think is equally important. A lot of what Deep Mind has done so far is combining those two promising areas of research together in a really fundamental way. And that’s resulted in the Atari game player, which really is the first demonstration of an agent that goes from pixels to action, as we call it.

Posted in gaming, information technology, video | No Comments »

Games in the library

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 13th January 2015

Games in the library

bibliography and research

http://scottnicholson.com/pubs/index.html

Playing in the Past: A History of Games, Toys, and Puzzles in North American Libraries
Author(s): Scott Nicholson
Source: The Library Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 4 (October 2013), pp. 341-361
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671913

demonstrate the different ways in which libraries have used games, toys, and puzzles over the last 150 years through bothcollections and services
p, 342 Defining games -
p. 348 Games as the Subject of Collections\
p. 350A significant shift in academic libraries is a focus on providing services to students. Since agrowing number of academic publications both current issues and back volumes

are ac-cessible online through library subscriptions, the physical space of academic libraries is notneeded for collections of periodicals. The concept of the “learning commons”has become
popular on US campuses in the past decade; it combines traditional library resources and
the availability of library staff members with group work spaces, computer access and assis-
tance, and writing assistance to provide one place where students can get assistance with
course work. In addition, many of these learning commons also include cafes, social spaces,
and other support of the social lives of students, and it is in this role that academic libraries
provide access to collections of games.

p. 357 Another upcoming area of gaming in libraries is gamification. Gamification is the application of game design elements to a nongame setting ðDeterding et al. 2011Þ.

————————————-

Nicholson, S. (2013, June). Exploring Gamification Techniques for Classroom Management. Paper Presented at Games+Learning+Society 9.0, Madison, WI

The concept of meaningful gamification is that the primary use of game layers is not to provide
external rewards, but rather to help participants find a deeper connection to the underyling topic

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More on games in education in this blog

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=games

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gaming

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gamification

Posted in educational technology, gamification, gaming | 1 Comment »