Friday, December 17, 2010

Google Chrome Web Store Open

Google has launched its Chrome Web Store, an HTML5-based app marketplace that operates on top of the Chrome web browser, including games from Electronic Arts and numerous other developers.

"People want to get paid for their apps, but they don't want to trust a small, independent developer. That's one of the problems we wanted to solve with the Chrome Web Store," Google VP of Product Management Sundar Pichai.

The store already lists 195 titles in the Games category, including offerings from Namco (Burger Time Deluxe), Zynga (FarmVille) and Digital Chocolate (Millionaire City) designed to run seamlessly inside the newest version of Google's web browser.

EA Games content is featured, with EA showing off a new version of the company's Pogo Games balloon-popping title Poppit as a free download for the platform. The game will be built-in to the upcoming version 9 of the Chrome browser.

Other EA titles available for download on the Chrome Web Store include existing web games such as FIFA Superstars, Lords of Ultima, Mirror's Edge 2D and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.

The latest version of the Chrome browser now supports hardware acceleration for in-browser apps.

300,000 Android Phones Daily!

Google's activating more than 300,000 Android phones daily -- more than other popular mobile devices like iPhone and Blackberry, a sign that the search giant's increasingly-popular game-friendly platform is continuing to close what remains of the gap between itself and iPhone.

According to Fortune magazine's tech blog, Google is now selling 10 million Android phones per month, as compared with 14.1 million iPhones sold in Apple's most recent quarter -- its best quarter ever, to boot.

Earlier this month, research firm ComScore released data suggesting that smartphones using Google's Android operating system gaining on Apple's iPhone in terms of market share. ComScore said Android has gained 17 percent share since July, bringing it to 23.5 percent versus the iPhone's 24.6 percent.

Chris Pruett on Tuning Gameplay

This Gamasutra article by Chris Pruett is a very compelling look at a super cool system for visual feedback (in the form of heat maps) using player metrics to indicate gameplay through the level.

Survival Master Research Field Test Invitation

The Simulation and Modeling for Technology Education NSF DR K-12 Research Project would like to call teachers' attention to an opportunity to help in the development of the Survival Master game. This National Science Foundation-funded Project would welcome teachers (gamers or not gamers) who might like to try this curriculum with middle school classes during the January 2012 semester. Training will be provided during the prior August (2011) at Hofstra University on Long Island and support will continue through online Webinars. Not only will the field test teachers assist the development team in refining the materials, but they will have a chance to work with like-minded colleagues who are anxious to help advance digital game-based learning as an instructional strategy in STEM education.

Survival Master Field Testing Invitation Video

Please watch the video above for an overview of the project. All expenses will be paid, materials will be provided, and teachers will receive an honorarium for participating. Should you be interested in joining the team, please contact Michael Hacker, SMTE Project Director, at

Friday, September 24, 2010

National STEM Video Game Challenge

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop announced President Obama's initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, with the National STEM Video Game Challenge that aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America's youth by tapping into students' natural passions for playing and making video games.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Math Snacks and Science Pirates

If you haven't already tried these, check out this cool work that is NMSU is doing in their Media Productions and Learning Game Lab:

Math Snacks

Math Snacks are short animations and mini-games designed to help learners "get it". Each snack presents a mathematical concept, particularly those addressed in grades 6, 7 and 8. Ideal for use in a classroom or on your own, they can even be placed on mobile devices for "homework". The accompanying print materials can assist learners in applying their conceptual understanding to math problems. Math Snacks were developed by NMSU's Media Productions and tested in the Learning Game Lab

Science Pirates

Science Pirates: The Curse of Brownbeard is a 3D educational computer game that communicates food safety knowledge in an environment of scientific exploration. The USDA awarded NMSU a grant to develop interactive games that help mid-school youth learn about food safety procedures, such as hand washing, cooking food to the proper temperature, keeping raw meat and cooked food separate, and washing surfaces. NMSU's Media Productions unit has a strong history in developing food safety materials, including an effective games site for younger children in 3rd - 5th grades, "The Food Detectives Fight BAC!(r)".

Original game design called for online gaming simulations through which youth would design their own experiments, draw conclusions and make recommendations in all areas of food safety. However, early testing of prototypes revealed the lack of experience youth have in conducting experiment design, and the instructional challenge of preparing students to adequately perform this important science process. Thus, the educational goal of Pirate Science shifted from one of understanding food safety issues through science processes, to one of understanding science processes to better change food safety behavior. That meant the educational focus became more centered on scientific understanding and processes, with the end result being a game that leads students through science processes as recommended through national science standards, while giving gamers a culminating activity of experiment design to lead them to better understanding of hand washing.

For more information on use or development of additional materials, contact: