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Gaming, Serious Games

SimCityEDU: Using Games for Formative Assessment


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As game-based learning gains momentum in education circles, teachers increasingly want substantive proof that games are helpful for learning. The game-makers at the non-profit GlassLab are hoping to do this with the popular video game SimCity. GlassLab is working with commercial game companies, assessment experts, and those versed in digital classrooms to build SimCityEDU, a downloadable

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Gaming, Psychology, Serious Games, Simulations

Fear of Fun


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Some day not all that far in the future, a new kind of entertainment is going to be perfected that will either be the coolest video game ever, or the media equivalent of a lethal man-made super-virus. You can predict what that entertainment might be like just by extrapolating from technology that already exists.

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Gaming, HCI, Serious Games, Simulations, Usability

Sculpting in Virtual Reality: Meet Leonar3Do


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Hungarian startup Leonar3Do (pronounced “Leonardo”) today demoed its mind-boggling virtual reality software for PC and Mac that lets you manipulate 3D objects as if they were right in front of you. Using a combination of triangulation (using sensors latched on to your computer) and 3D goggles, Leonar3Do creates an environment for interacting with 3D objects

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Gaming, HCI, Usability

Kinect Gestural UI: First Impressions


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Read the manual before using the interface. (Kinect Adventures) (Yes, it’s a *cute* manual, but these are still instructions to memorize.) Summary: Inconsistent gestures, invisible commands, overlooked warnings, awkward dialog confirmations. But fun to play. Kinect is a new video game system that is fully controlled by bodily movements. It’s vaguely similar to the Wii,

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Gaming, HCI, Psychology, Simulations, Usability

Simplification: A Review of Civilization V


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The latest release in the Civilization series has many improvements, from beautiful new graphics to redesigned gameplay. Many features in Civilization IV have been streamlined or eliminated, in favor of a simplified playing experience that will attract new players to the game. Having studied Civilization IV extensively (most of our publications are based upon research

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Gaming, HCI, Usability

Motion Controllers & Revived Classic Titles Rule at E3


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2010 appears to be a breakthrough year for gaming technologies.  In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and many others in the gaming industry have just announced their latest releases at this year’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles. The E3 press conferences revealed trends toward motion-based game controllers, 3D technologies, controller-less gaming, and an

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