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Playing History: Vikings now available on Steam

We just launched our first game on Steam: Playing History: Vikings. The game has a 20% discount for launch – so hurry :-)

Will be interesting to see what the channel can do for this different type of game experience. They say an average game sells 32.000 copies on Steam.. I think that is an optimistic number but I hope you and everyone else will prove me wrong..

http://store.steampowered.com/app/368760/

 

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Posted in News.


Call for paper

In this issue of eLearningPapers we want to explore different approaches and models that spark creative potential of people and bring together interdisciplinary teams to collaborate and produce applied games and gamified apps. In collaboration with the European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL), this issue will include the best papers from the mini track.

Read more.

Posted in News, Research.


Shallow and deep gamification

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading Andreas Lieberoth’s paper on gamification (who he recently defended as part of his PhD – congrats!)… Be sure to give it a look. It provides a nice piece towards the sorely missing research on gamification. In short the study demonstrates quite convincingly that shallow gamification (no game mechanics) provides (at least short-term) almost the same engagement as deep gamification (game mechanics).

Slightly depressing – on the other hand we can hope that studies will show that in the longer run people will get a bit immune to just dressing things up with game-like artefacts… or maybe we shouldn’t be depressed.. just dressing it up from a game developer perspective is a lot easier than integrating real game mechanics :-)

“This article experimentally dissociates the psychological impact of framing versus game mechanics, when presenting a serious activity as a game. Studies of game elements in nongame contexts tend to describe full packages, with no way of assessing their individual psychological and functional impact. To isolate the effects of framing, students (N = 90) were assigned to either discuss study environment issues through a list of questions, via a competitive discussion board game, or though the same game artifacts but with no game mechanics. Task engagement and self-reported intrinsic motivation were compared between groups. Results demonstrate that the effects of simply framing the activity as a game though vernacular and artifacts holds almost as much psychological power as the full game mechanics. In both game conditions, interest and enjoyment were significantly superior to controls, but other intrinsic motivation variables remained unchanged. Implications for game design in nongame contexts are discussed, and a framework for differentiating “deep and shallow gamification” in terms of mechanics and framing is developed.”

See the study here:

Posted in News, Research.


GigiBlocks

So this is not exactly games but still pretty cool – would love to see more kindergartens and schools using something like this for creative expression. The idea is simply that you can build big blocks :-)

http://gigibloks.com/en/product/100-oversized-building-blocks-from-natural-material/

Posted in News.


I don’t want to play – leave me alone with my iPad

A new study from the Children’s Council was released over Easter – it basically sent a survey to children in 100 Danish kindergartens and asked of their preference towards iPads (along with follow-up qualitative interviews). The study is in Danish but you should be able to pick up the essence of the stats with a bit of google translate) if the summary below isn’t sufficient. The study is important because it tells us something that most of us already know but to some extent refuse to acknowledge. Namely that the iPads is immensely popular and will curb play

Selected Key findings where:
N=844 (primarily 5 year old, both girls and boy) – response rate: 72%

1). Would you rather play on iPad than play with some kids you know?

66% – yes
22% – no
12% – don’t know

2). Would you rather play on a fun play ground than play iPad

63% – yes
29% – No
8% – don’t know

3). Do you like to use the Ipad all by yourself

75% – yes
20% no
5% – Don’t know
4). How is it at your home: Do you mostly sit alone and use the iPad?

60% – yes
32 – no
8% – Don’t know

 

At the same time when our game MiniMo Town climbed to the top of the charts in Denmark (Top3 most downloaded at some point). It makes you wonder even more about whether games, and more broadly speaking iPads are beneficial for children. The idea that the use of iPad would let children to not play with each other is a bit frightening, and I think most parents know that the digital world can be quite engrossing. This does mean that it becomes even more important what type of content you put on that iPad, and I think that we have actually with MiniMo Town helped in that regard.

Posted in Discussion GBL, News, Research.


MiniMo Town Released in Scandinavia

Hi All,

We have been working for the last 1,5 years on a casual city builder learning game, where you learn English pretty seamlessly. Now it is out in Denmark, Sweden and Norway – and as soon as we are comfortable everything is working 120% we will get ready for releasing globally.

You can see the trailer below, and download the game either on Google Play or App Store – see more here

MiniMo Town you tube video

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Posted in News.


Free Seminar – Computer games and Game mechanics in Education (Only in Danish)

Should rightly be labelled Minecraft in Education but nevertheless looks like very interesting line up and good initiative.

Date: Tuesday d. 9. december 2014 kl. 16:30- 20:00

You need to sign up before Friday 5th December 2014

Free seminar

Posted in News, Talks.


Shallow Gamification

It is rare that gamification is treated with serious research scrutiny and this is a very interesting study. It basically looks at whether ‘just’ framing something as a game experience will have a positive impact or whether you have to put in deeper game mechanics…

“This article experimentally dissociates the psychological impact of framing versus game mechanics, when presenting a serious activity as a game. Studies of game elements in nongame contexts tend to describe full packages, with no way of assessing their individual psychological and functional impact. To isolate the effects of framing, students (N = 90) were assigned to either discuss study environment issues through a list of questions, via a competitive discussion board game, or though the same game artifacts but with no game mechanics. Task engagement and self-reported intrinsic motivation were compared between groups. Results demonstrate that the effects of simply framing the activity as a game though vernacular and artifacts holds almost as much psychological power as the full game mechanics. In both game conditions, interest and enjoyment were significantly superior to controls, but other intrinsic motivation variables remained unchanged. Implications for game design in nongame contexts are discussed, and a framework for differentiating “deep and shallow gamification” in terms of mechanics and framing is developed.”

Posted in News, Research.


New Collection on Learning, Education and Game design

I haven’t had a chance to read the volume yet but the is an area that definitely needs more attention. A lot of research focus on the effect of learning games, and too few try and share good practice and findings on what it find to design and develop good learning games. A lot of the previous literature has been very academic, so I hope this one will actually be useful for hands-on.

“This book is perfect for any educator or designer seeking an introduction to research-driven best practices for using and designing games for learning. This book provides the latest research and techniques for designing games for a variety of curricular needs–including STEM, literacy learning, history education, music, and computational, ethical, and critical thinking. The book also delves into specific design issues, such as aligning goals, designing for an audience, playtesting, and assessment. Each chapter provides an overview of the relevant frameworks and research findings, as well as practical case studies and useful resources. ”

Get it here

 

 

Posted in News, Research.


MiniMo Town Revealed

Finally, it’s time to reveal one of the major projects we have also been working on for the last year. It is not out yet, so this is a special glimpse into it. MiniMo is a fun builder games where you learn English.

MiniMo Town is a new fun casual learning game for children (4-8 years), where you build your own city by spelling words. You create a variety of colourful buildings, cute animals, cool items, and awesome tools.

The magic happens when you, suddenly, see the words that you have made, spring to life! Spell the word “saw” and then use the saw to cut down trees! Spell the word “cat”, and give the cat to one of your citizens.

MiniMo Town began as a dream of making a city-building game for kids – a place where children would have fun while growing. We want to empower your children through fun, by building on their natural curiosity towards letters and words.

City building games are loved by children, but all too often, we see children getting frustrated because of a paywall and complicated controls. The children want to play these games, but they can easily become too difficult and frustrating.

You can see more pictures at Pininterest

You can also check out the web-site where there is also links to our Facebook page and twitter profile where we will keep people posted on the development towards the final release.

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Posted in Development, News.