Congratulations to our 2014 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge finalists! Be sure to visit the SGS&C Booth # 2663 and cast your vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award!
Take a look at our finalists and learn a little bit more about the games before visiting us at I/ITSEC.
By Engineering & Computer Simulations
A.C. T. was designed for “digital natives,” teenagers between 14 and 17 years of age, who are estimated to spend an average of 53 hours a week on their mobile devices.
The game runs on smart phones or tablets and the first installment, Macy’s Story, presents an all too common occurrence where a young girl is tricked into being trafficked by a seemingly legitimate modeling scout.
It is the player’s job to identify red flags signifying that Macy may be in trouble, with the help of a trusted police officer and a mutual friend of the player and the victim.
By Virtual Heroes
Combat Medic is an engaging and immersive application with the goal of instructing combat medics on optimal treatment techniques of the top three causes of preventable death on the modern battlefield and supplements the 68W combat medic training courses.
Within a realistic 3D outdoor environment, users collaborate to evaluate the casualty’s condition and perform the necessary procedures to save the soldier’s life. The game features an integrated real-time physiology engine, as well as session playback that allows instructors and users to review gameplay and critique.
It also offers both single player and multi-player functionality, and a scaling difficulty system.
By University of Utah
Cyber Heist is an intense, two-player co-op experience unlike any other. Team up with a friend to take on the futuristic Department of Education as either an eye-in-the-sky hacker or a stealthy, cautious thief.
Work together with your partner to plan your route through each level; trap mechanical drones; disable alarms; and gather passwords. Most importantly, do your best to improvise as unforeseen obstacles prevent you from making your way further into the Department of Education vault to eliminate all student debt forever!
By Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic and Charles University in Prague
Czechoslovakia 38-89 is a complex single-player, dialog-based adventure game with a strong narrative, including interactive comics and authentic audiovisual materials.
It presents key events from Czechoslovakia’s contemporary history and enables students to “experience” these events from different perspectives. It aims to develop deeper understanding of the multifaceted political, social and cultural aspects of this time period. Its content stems from historical research and personal testimonies.
Emphasis is given on the diversified historical experiences of the population, including previously marginalized groups. The game aims to develop abilities of students to comprehend, compare and analyze sources of facts and create critical judgments.
By WeWantToKnow AS
In the beginning of the game, players learn to identify shapes based on their properties. Next, logic-based puzzles are introduced.
To solve the puzzles, players must use the properties of given shapes, which are placed in complex figures of overlapping shapes, to draw conclusions about other shapes in the figure. As the game progresses, players use definitions, postulates and theorems presented in Euclid’s Elements to solve increasingly sophisticated puzzles.
The logical reasoning in the game is identical to the logical reasoning used in formal geometric proof, only with a kinesthetic gaming component that allows players to visualize it.
Eagle Eye is a fielded U.S. Army training game that leverages an expansive and immersive 3D urban environment. This application provides the Army’s latest reconnaissance and security tactics to the RQ-7B Shadow Platform.
The game puts the player in control of an Unmanned Aircraft supporting a Brigade Combat Team using their critical decision making skills. As players progress through the game, they will be trained through intense real world situations. The game challenges the player through three levels of gameplay.
The player is scored and prompted on their achievements during all learning events. The After Action Review (AAR) provides access to refresher training that reinforces the instructional tactics required to perform your mission.
Far-Plane: Beyond Boundaries
By Triad Interactive Media
Far-Plane is a unique role-playing game that teaches essential leadership skills through exciting challenges and quests. Set on a resource-starved planet torn among warring factions, players navigate complex political environments, unite diverse peoples and build strategic alliances to save the world.
Far-Plane empowers players to evaluate situations and make decisions using critical thinking, build alliances, analyze character and motivation, and form lasting relationships with diverse individuals.
These important skills in Boundary-Spanning Leadership enhance real-world leadership and relationship-building skills, making smarter, more thoughtful individuals who are better equipped for success in a rapidly changing global society.
By Digital Glass
Hungry Birds is a fast-paced game where the player is a bird flying through a forest and has to eat as many moths as possible in 60 seconds.
Flight path is automated, players focus on touching moths resting on trees. Halfway through the game, the trees turn dark (pollution) and suddenly it is easier to see the white moths.
At the end of the game, players see how the pressure to compete (get a high score) forced them to go after the easier-to-see moths, thereby changing the population mix – a demonstration of how natural selection works.
By University of Central Florida
Hurricane Game is an interactive learning experience that allows exploration from both the perspective of a storm and a house builder, allowing choices to be made that change the scenario outcome.
By playing multiple times, changing the parameters, and seeing the resulting damage, learners gain a broad understanding of the factors that influence storm impact on human populations.
In testing at the Museum of Discovery and Science, evaluation showed not only increased engagement with museum learning, but also strong feelings that youth better understood the relevance of science to their lives.
Info Sentinel: Travel Security
By MAVI Interactive
Organizations increasingly transfer cyber security knowledge to their staff in the form of publications and instructor-led training. However, knowledge transfer does not guarantee skill development.
In order to let the trainees become skilled at recognizing threats, and being fully aware of the direct connection between their daily actions and cyber security breaches, Info Sentinel lets them experience the point of view of a cyber-security inspector. They deal with the same mistakes that the trainee might be making throughout his/her day.
Challenged with taking the necessary actions to reveal vulnerabilities, the trainee must think critically and understand the way the hackers think.
Lifting with Scissors
By Serious Labs
Lifting with Scissors is a fun, challenging game that abstractly teaches users various safe protocols and features of the scissor lift, without outright showing as a traditional educational game.
Players aim and throw a series of balls from the basket of the scissor lift into various containers scattered around a level. While attempting to throw these balls into the containers, they are presented with the option of gathering up to three bonus objectives scattered around the level that will further reinforce and stress proper safety protocols taught through a linear content course.
By University of Washington Center of Game Science
Nanocrafter is a synthetic biology game created to educate and entertain players while advancing science. As players progress through the game, they learn how to utilize DNA strand displacement reactions to construct a variety of mechanisms that will assist them in solving the increasingly complex puzzles.
The game also features open-ended challenge levels, where players can use what they have learned from the game and apply their creativity to build to draw pictures, create imaginative new devices, and eventually see their inventions recreated in the lab.
Thousands of players have already played and submitted hundreds of solutions to challenges.
The Radix Endeavor
By The Education Arcade
The Radix Endeavor is a multiplayer online game developed by the MIT Education Arcade designed to increase engagement and knowledge in secondary math and biology.
Using inquiry and exploration, players build content knowledge and develop skills in problem solving, using models, analyzing data, and communicating information.
Players take on roles of mathematicians and scientists and embark on quests that encourage them to investigate and interact with the virtual world through math and science systems. They use a robust set of tools to make their way through 110 quests in seven topic areas as they experience authentic problem-solving in STEM.
By Simcoach Games
Robot Factory is designed to enhance the cognitive performance of high-performing adults whose everyday tasks involve reasoning and problem solving in information rich environments.
The game is played in the context of being a worker drone in a futuristic and dystopian robot factory that was built in collaboration with neuroscientists to engage fundamental cognitive processes that play a crucial role in fluid intelligence.
The uniqueness of Robot Factory lies both in its strong roots in neurocognitive theory and the automata behind the scenes — which provide players with an increasingly complex and compounded combination of different types of cognitive challenges designed to engage and enhance the processes supporting effective reasoning and problem solving.
The Shield: By Sword and Knowledge
By Purdue University
The Shield is an educational action-adventure computer game that utilizes immersive media as a way of teaching vocabulary to English language learners.
The game focuses on improving learners’ ability to recognize, spell, and pronounce vocabulary words in an immersive world. It provides players with contextualized learning and experiences to learn a specific vocabulary wordlist.
The player experiences a series of adventures and stories. These stories develop/present noble values among players, like helping others and fighting against injustice. The player also discovers what it looks like to be a victim of deceit, and lies by the end of the game.
By cmee4 Productions
Sound Scouts is a game played by children to assess their hearing.
The game is played on a mobile tablet with headphones. Parents or caregivers supervise their children playing as the game surreptitiously tests their hearing.
Created in partnership with the National Acoustic Laboratories, Sounds Scouts incorporates several advanced scientific principles that enable it to detect a range of hearing problems. But while Sound Scouts is based on science, it’s the game play that engages the child, helping to secure a valid hearing test result.
Sound Scouts is a playful, mobile solution to provide hearing screening to all children starting school.
Strike Group Defender: The Missile Matrix
By the Office of Naval Research and MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Strike Group Defender is the US Navy’s first prototype multiple player, game-based software-training program that trains, tests and evaluates navy personnel employment and use of Navy Electronic Warfare tactics and systems in highly contested, increasingly difficult wartime situations.
It employs state-of-the-art technology and methodology from the video gaming and social media industry to provide an architecture and learning ecosystem that harnesses the power of crowdsourcing, cloud deployment, analytics,and behavioral modeling while maintaining the allure of modern media that is focused on young personnel.
The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom
By Muzzy Lane Software
The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom by Muzzy Lane Software is a “choose your own journey” style game that incorporates 3-D experiences as students make a series of choices that affect their journey.
Played from a first-person perspective, the game immerses students in the action as they play the role of a slave escaping from a southern plantation and heading north toward freedom.
Along the route, students make key decisions that lead them to one of several possible outcomes.
During their journey, students encounter challenges and meet key historical figures that provide help and inspiration.