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E3 2016 Showcases More Than 2,300 Products

E3 2016 Showcases More Than 2,300 Products

E3 2016 Showcases More Than 2,300 Products

E3 2016 once again delivered as the premier place to see what’s next in video games, as more than 250 exhibitors displayed more than 2,300 products for industry professionals, analysts, journalists and gamers.

Attendees had the chance to see the newest, most anticipated video games such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dishonored 2 and Battlefield 1, as well as the latest in virtual reality and updates to the current console generation from Microsoft, PlayStation and Nintendo.

This year’s event also featured the first-ever fan show, E3 Live. This brand new event, which ran alongside E3 from June 14-16, offered fans the opportunity to explore new games and technology, compete in various game competitions and interact with developers. The event sold out within hours, as 20,000 fans from more than 100 countries enjoyed concerts from Steve Aoki, Wiz Khalifa, Big Boi and Empire of the Sun.

E3 2016 Showcases More Than 2,300 Products

E3 2016 Showcases More Than 2,300 Products

Alongside the new game and product announcements, this year’s event featured the annual E3 College Game Competition, a game design contest among colleges and universities with video game development programs. Industry experts awarded top prize to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and its game Brobot Beatdown, a virtual reality Mech combat game where players pilot giant robots from a virtual cockpit to battle with friends. This was the third time in four years SCAD has won this prestigious competition.

E3 2016 once again demonstrated the true value of video games in the entertainment industry, showcasing video games’ evolution through virtual and augmented reality, mobile technology and new, more advanced consoles.

In-Game History Lessons Set to Revolutionize Classroom Learning

In-Game History Lessons Set to Revolutionize Classroom Learning

In-Game History Lessons Set to Revolutionize Classroom Learning

As game-based approaches to learning continue to grow in popularity, educators across the United States will soon have another interactive strategy game to add to their repertoire of learning tools when CivilizationEDU hits classrooms nationwide in 2017.

GlassLab Inc., a nonprofit learning company and industry-leader in digital games – established in partnership with ESA, Electronic Arts, Institute of Play, the MacArthur Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation –  recently partnered with Take-Two Interactive, 2K and premier development studio Firaxis Games to release an adaptation of Sid Meier’s esteemed Civilization game –  for in-school instruction.  The modified version will elevate the game to a whole new level with enhanced features like developer diaries and an online dashboard that enables teachers to generate reports on students’ progress and track in-game accomplishments.

Through the process of discovering and establishing new civilizations, students can build key critical thinking, analytic, and decision-making skills necessary to operate in an increasingly globalized world.  By creating an experience that offers both educational and entertainment value, CivilizationEDU engages students in world history, geopolitics, warfare, and the socioeconomic impact of events.

Since its debut in 1991, the Civilization series has seen remarkable success.  Now in its 25th year, the Wall Street Journal reports the game has sold more than 34 million units to retailers worldwide.  Given the franchise’s popularity and existing fan base, CivilizationEDU is predicted to be another smash hit.

In-Game History Lessons Set to Revolutionize Classroom Learning

In-Game History Lessons Set to Revolutionize Classroom Learning

Civilization has challenged millions of people around the world to revisit and experience history, boldly pursue exploration, and create their own societies based on the passions and freedom of choice,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two said in a press release.  “I can’t think of a better interactive experience to help challenge and shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.”

While students and teachers will have to wait until 2017 to play CivilizationEDU, the hype surrounding the classroom version of the strategy game confirms the extraordinary demand for interactive games in the educational space.

New Research: Video Games Help Children’s Psychological and Academic Development

New research suggests that video games have a positive effect on children‘s development.

Thirteen researchers from Columbia University and Paris Descartes University found that elementary-age children who played video games for five or more hours per week – about 20 percent of the children surveyed – had fewer psychological problems and higher overall academic performance than their peers who did not play video games. In fact, the game players were described by teachers as better students, both academically and in social adjustment.

New Research: Video Games Help Children’s Psychological and Academic Development

New Research: Video Games Help Children’s Psychological and Academic Development

Part of the School Children Mental Health Europe project, the report analyzed the video game usage, academic performance, and behavior of nearly 3,200 European children between the ages of six and 11. Observations and data collected by parents and teachers were also considered to help guide researchers.“I think what we’re seeing here is the evolution of gaming modern society. Video games are now a part of a normal childhood,” Katherine Keyes, one of the 13 authors of the study, told U.S. News. “What we’re seeing here is that kids who play a lot of video games are socially integrated, they’re prosocial, they have good school functioning and we don’t see an association with adverse mental health outcomes.”

As the research concludes, video games provide educational, social, and psychological benefits for children.

You can read the entire study online in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

eSports Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

March does not just belong to basketball anymore. While much of the sports world was focused on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, millions of fans tuned into eSports competitions to watch top collegiate athletes compete in sold-out arenas, and the biggest names in sports media signaled that eSports are now a mainstay of their overall coverage.

Earlier this spring, ESPN and Yahoo! launched dedicated verticals to cover eSports exclusively, offering expert commentary, analysis, and articles on the virtual competitions. The sports titans join other news outlets, including Business Insider and Fortune, in featuring interviews with top players, scores, schedules, rankings, and statistics right alongside football, basketball, and baseball. In addition to daily coverage, ESPN dedicated an entire issue of ESPN The Magazine to eSports, hired staff for eSports-specific content, and broadcasted competitions on ESPN and ESPN2.

“The competition is crazy, it has million-dollar performers, it has high stakes, it has everything that makes sports interesting to cover,” ESPN.com editor-in-chief Chad Millman told TIME.

eSports Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

eSports Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

Major video game studios are also ramping up their efforts in competitive gaming. 343 Studios held the Halo World Championship in March, and more than doubled the original cash prize because of fan excitement, resulting in the largest prize to date for a first-person shooter competition at $2.5 million. The opening rounds of Activision-Blizzard’s Heroes of the Dorm tournament recently aired on ESPN opposite March Madness, and offered a familiar bracket challenge for fans. The event culminated in a “Heroic Four,” a live two-day event on ESPN2, with the winning team receiving awards covering full college tuition.

Also in March, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) World Championship, featuring League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, shattered previously held eSports records. Over the course of the event, 113,000 people attended and an additional 34 million unique users tuned in online to watch live streams in 26 different languages. The event also featured the IEM’s “Diversity in eSports Initiative.” Part of Intel and ESL’s AnyKey initiatives, the partnership hopes to create inclusive environments for underrepresented communities in eSports.

With growing support, better production quality and sponsor involvement, and a more inclusive environment, eSports is taking the sports world by storm with no signs of slowing down.

Can You Get Your MBA Using A Video Game?

A business strategy learning game can be just as effective at teaching as a professor, according to a recent experiment conducted by Hult International Business School professor John Beck.

Beck and his team designed a new game, One Day, to challenge his students to develop a business strategy for an airport based on data reports and interactions with non-game playing characters -variables that change every time a student plays. Beck’s class was then divided into two groups: those who only played One Day and those who only received traditional instruction, such as reading, lecture, case study and in-class presentations, from a top-rated professor. At the end of the semester, students who played One Day achieved similar results as their peers.

Can You Get Your MBA Using A Video Game?

Can You Get Your MBA Using A Video Game?

According to Beck, One Day uses a unique learning method that complements traditional instruction. Instead of replicating what happens in the classroom, the game presents students with a business scenario that evolves as they plan, strategize and interact with given materials. This allows students to experience basic concepts in a more immersive way.

Professors benefit, too. The game also offers them more time to help students refine their skills in harder to learn areas, and to conduct research and teach more granular material.

Beck’s experiment comes at a time when many business schools are experimenting with making their curriculum more virtual after largely resisting increased use of technology due to the difficulty of programming high-level concepts.

Elite colleges around the country, such as Stanford and Harvard, are already exploring new ways to present difficult concepts to online users. A single course for HarvardX, the university’s online learning platform which launched last year, already has more than 10,000 registered students. Schools typically do not charge students for these courses, affording many people who normally would not have access to graduate degrees an opportunity to obtain one.

The inclusion of video game-based learning in business schools is a significant extension of this model. These games provide the opportunity to learn to more people without sacrificing educational payoff, as Beck’s experiment shows. Successes of programs such as One Day also show an unprecedented leap in capabilities and complexity for learning games otherwise reserved for simple concepts like basic math and typing.

Healthcare Industry Turns to Video Games to Treat MS

The video game industry continues to pave the way for advancements outside of entertainment. Now, a creative new partnership between technology and pharmaceutical giants is reimagining medical imaging, and with it, tackling an incurable and unpredictable central nervous system disease that affects 2.3 million people globally.

Microsoft recently teamed up with Novartis AG to develop AssessMS to treat those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). The new program, which uses the Microsoft Kinect’s motion-tracking and camera technology, allows researchers to analyze important data regarding the patient’s physical symptoms, such as gait and dexterity, by recording their movements.

Imprecise measurements and inconsistent assessments of patients’ movements currently complicate patients and doctors’ ability to evaluate the severity of MS symptoms and make informed choices about care and treatment options. These medical difficulties carry over into the pharmaceutical industry, making new drug trials challenging and costly.

Microsoft and Novartis believe their new program can change this calculus by offering more refined data. As patients perform simple body movements and gestures in front of the Kinect motion-sensing camera, doctors are able to evaluate precise information to evaluate the degree of impairment.

So far, prototypes have run hundreds of tests with patients in three of the top MS clinics in Europe. If the system shows promise, Novartis hopes to pursue the clinical validation process and seek regulatory approval.

Healthcare Industry Turns to Video Games to Treat MS

Healthcare Industry Turns to Video Games to Treat MS

This new system marks a break with previous games-based treatment options. Previously, doctors and patients primarily used games such as the Nintendo Wii Balance Board to help people with MS improve their balance. However, as several recent studies have found, games can help patients improve motor skills and visual acuity, sharpen short-term memory, reduce depressive symptoms, and relieve chronic pain, all difficulties common among people with MS.

“This is really super-interesting work,” Tim Coetzee, chief advocacy, services, and research officer at the National MS Society in the U.S. told Bloomberg. “The problem we are trying to solve in MS cries out for tools like this one where it is about being able to give the physician some consistent approach to measure the evolution of the disease.”

With these new advancements, the video game industry has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. As studies and tests continue to improve and evolve, researchers and game companies alike are working together to discover new treatments – even cures – to some of today’s biggest medical challenges.

Video Game Industry Stars Descend on Las Vegas for DICE 2016

Last month, the 2016 D.I.C.E. Summit brought together video game executives, designers, developers, and publishers from around the world to explore the creative process and discuss the industry’s current state and exciting future.

Video Game Industry Stars Descend on Las Vegas for DICE 2016

Video Game Industry Stars Descend on Las Vegas for DICE 2016

Industry icons like Randy Pitchford and Todd Howard examined the promises innovations such as virtual reality represent for the future of video games; debated the challenges facing the industry such as gender diversity; and offered unique insights into how video games have become the leading entertainment industry in the United States.

Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), gave an in-depth look at the evolution of the industry as well as its significant impact on the economy, education, and technology. The speech illustrated how far video games have come, drawing on ESA’s pivotal role in the landmark Supreme Court decision, growing relationships with federal and state policymakers, and initiatives like the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) and the ESA Foundation.

Gallagher concluded by calling on the industry to join ESA in ensuring that the industry keeps growing, and for players to get involved through the Video Game Voters Network. “This work must continue. The mission isn’t over. And our strength and success depend upon the continued support of all of you.” Watch the full speech online here.

Afterward, Gallagher fielded questions about the role ESA plays in other important issues, such as increasing gender diversity in tech-related fields. As Gallagher noted, the video game industry employs more women than other tech sectors and nearly a third of students enrolled in video game programs are women. Women are increasingly represented in games too: every major game released in the fourth quarter of 2015 had playable female characters. “I see the pipeline looks much brighter when it comes to the diversity issues of today,” Gallagher remarked.

For a full recap of this year’s summit, visit the D.I.C.E. website.

Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

Students and teachers, already adept at using tablets and games for lessons and research in the classroom, are beginning to explore how the latest in game technology – virtual reality – can transform education and game-based learning.

Nearpod Inc., a startup that makes education software for classrooms, recently launched virtual reality lessons for students. The lessons – which are currently used in over 10,000 schools across the U.S. – invite students to participate in interactive history, science, and math lessons all while in virtual reality.

Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

Virtual Reality Enters the Classroom

According to Nearpod Chief Executive Guido Kovalskys, the most significant hurdle facing virtual reality in the classroom is the notion that it is expensive and complicated. The company is working to break this misconception by offering much of their content for free and relying on student-owned and school district-supplied devices like smartphones and tablets.

“I think once teachers have tried virtual reality with their classes, they will realize it opens up their students’ imaginations to the world beyond their textbooks, Chromebooks, and tablets,” said Rothenberg Ventures partner and Nearpod investor Brandon Farwell in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Nearpod isn’t the only virtual reality platform making its way into classrooms. Last September, Google launched its Pioneer Expeditions program, offering thousands of schools kits containing everything students need to take a virtual class trip – from the Great Wall of China to Mars. The company provides smartphones, a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour, a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection, a library of 100+ virtual trips and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel View­Masters that turn smartphones into VR headsets.

“It’s a really practical application of VR and a way to use cutting edge tech for schools,” Jen Holland, Expeditions product manager told Smithsonian Magazine. “We’re not just taking old tech and throwing it over the fence. We thought a lot about how this would be helpful.”

Other international programs have hinted at virtual reality’s promise to change game-based learning. In the Czech Republic, a project called “The World of Comenius” employed a Leap Motion controller and specially-adapted Oculus Rift headset to demonstrate how educational applications allow users to interact with teaching materials.

“‘World of Comenius’ aims to utilize VR to show people things that weren’t possible before,” said project developer Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík. “Play around with atoms and get intuitive ‘feel’ of their behavior on the quantum level, swim in the cell or meet with people from history and explore the environment they lived in, while having feeling that they’re actually in there.”

Many teachers see the power virtual reality holds for the classroom when applied correctly. “I think it is so important that teachers are making sure that the learning activities they design with virtual reality are thoughtfully connected to learning objectives,” said Monica Burns, a fifth grade teacher and EdTech and curriculum consultant based in New York. “When it’s executed properly, and not just used for fun, VR can be incredibly powerful.”



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My name is Sayed Ahmadreza Razian and I am a graduate of the master degree in Artificial intelligence .
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Related topics such as image processing, machine vision, virtual reality, machine learning, data mining, and monitoring systems are my research interests, and I intend to pursue a PhD in one of these fields.

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