The UN Is Using Virtual Reality to Make the Rich and Powerful Feel Empathy | Motherboard

Waves of Grace is the second in a series of short films made in collaboration with VR video app Vrse and filmmaker Chris Milk (and some funding from VICE). It’s an effort to use virtual reality to connect people with real life in the strife-ridden parts of the world that too often remain distant and abstract. Even with the limitations of current VR gear, it’s damn effective, enough that it’s easy to talk about the film as though it were an actual experience. Decontee Davis’s voice was in my ear as I stood at the side of a hospital bed, where she sat with a patient for whom human contact was no longer a part of everyday life. I visited a dusty schoolyard where children sang and glanced warily at me. I stood at the foot of an open grave as anonymous men in white suits lowered a body bag, so close I could almost feel it brush my knees.

Source: The UN Is Using Virtual Reality to Make the Rich and Powerful Feel Empathy | Motherboard

The digital game that could cure TB – BBC News

A team of undergraduates from Abertay University in Dundee has created Sanitarium, a game that invites people to play doctor.Using scarce resources they must treat as many TB patients as they can.

Behind the game lies a mathematical model developed at St Andrews University that uses data from human interactions to simulate a drug trial. The data collected by the game could help deliver new drug treatments to the developing world quicker and cheaper than ever before.

Source: The digital game that could cure TB – BBC News

15 Professions That Are Using Games for Training | Mental Floss

6. NursingWhile surgeons can benefit from games, game developers haven’t forgotten about nurses. Some hospitals have programs where staff can simulate responses to various emergencies or care situations. The goal is to increase the standard for patient safety and minimize human error.

7. Electronics and Appliance RepairPutting the right part in the right place takes a lot of experience and knowledge of hundreds of different models. Technicians can get an opportunity for repetitive practice by “dropping” parts into specific areas on a machine using a cursor.

Source: 15 Professions That Are Using Games for Training | Mental Floss

Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet — Making DIY — Medium

It’s difficult to predict which skills will be valuable in the future, and even more challenging to see the connection between our children’s interests and these skills. Nothing illustrates this better than Minecraft, a popular game that might be best described as virtual LEGOs. Calling it a game belies the transformation it has sparked: An entire generation is learning how to create 3D models using a computer. It makes me wonder what sort of jobs, entertainment or art will be possible now. Cathy Davidson, a scholar of learning technology, concluded that 65% of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yet. I bet today’s kids will eventually explore outcomes and create businesses only made possible by the influence of Minecraft in their lives.

Source: Preparing Our Kids for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet — Making DIY — Medium

How Video Games Make You Work – The New Yorker

The relationship between work and play is inherently entwined—there would, after all, be no PlayStation without the workstation. The link is clearest, perhaps, in a genre of simulation games that has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Car Mechanic Simulator, an unironic video-game approximation of the trade, became a best-seller in its first week of release, in late April. It’s just the latest simulation game that seeks to replicate working-class professions; the list includes Farming Simulator (gather crops), Oil Platform Simulator (drill for fossil fuels), Stone Quarry Simulator (collect rocks), Street Cleaning Simulator (collect litter), Euro Truck Simulator (deliver goods), and Tokyo Bus Guide (deliver passengers).

In a few cases, such simulations are authentic enough to be considered legitimate training for the profession itself. Time spent using military-grade flight simulators, for example, can count toward a pilot’s official flight-time record. Last year, a number of players of the Football Manager series of games submitted résumés for the job of managing Manchester United, in the U.K., citing their in-game achievements as qualifications. And each year the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan runs a competition using the driving-simulation game Gran Turismo, to find new racing talent. Lucas Ordoñez, the winner of the inaugural competition, in 2008, has become one of the company’s leading competitors on the professional track.

Source: How Video Games Make You Work – The New Yorker

Why Minecraft Rewrites the Playbook for Learning – Boing Boing

Geeky teachers have brought Minecraft to subjects ranging from history to biology to probability. The game is being rolled out to every secondary school in Northern Ireland this month. If you’re a parent, you’ve noticed Minecraft offerings spawning in your local summer camp listings. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers a Minecraft camp for budding builders. Ninety-two libraries participated in the International Games Day Minecraft Hunger Games tournament, and crowned a 13-year-old girl as its champion. And, I’ve helped launch Connected Camps’ Summer of Minecraft, a new in-game online camp.

Source: Why Minecraft Rewrites the Playbook for Learning – Boing Boing

Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games | Psychology Today

The most recent issue of the American Journal of Play (Fall, 2014) includes an article (link is external) by researchers Adam Eichenbaum, Daphne Bavelier, and C. Shawn Green summarizing recent research demonstrating long-lasting positive effects of video games on basic mental processes–such as perception, attention, memory, and decision-making. Most of the research involves effects of action video games—that is, games that require players to move rapidly, keep track of many items at once, hold a good deal of information in their mind at once, and make split-second decisions. Many of the abilities tapped by such games are precisely those that psychologists consider to be the basic building blocks of intelligence.

Source: Cognitive Benefits of Playing Video Games | Psychology Today

Edutainment failed me – Boing Boing

Many people do look back fondly on legitimately-entertaining educational games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and The Oregon Trail. But the Learning Company games my parents bought me were marketed to and designed for parents and educators, not children. Rather than marrying learning to play, they crudely grafted educational material to rudimentary “game”-like behavior.For children forced to play such games, it felt like being told you had to eat your vegetables before you could have a single bite of weird, unappealing fruitcake. You’d typically have to suffer through some convoluted fractions or a reading comprehension portion before you could be “rewarded” with a small slice of entertainment. The message ended up being that education was supposed to be a slog, not something you’d want to pursue for its own sake.

Source: Edutainment failed me – Boing Boing

The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction – Boing Boing

What makes Departure stand out isn’t just its involved storyline, but its surprisingly slick special effects. She’s been collaborating with a visual effects house in the United Kingdom on “making Departure an even bigger project,” and also working on getting the series into virtual reality. While there’s been no official release, at least one eager fan has already found a way to view the two-dimensional video through a VR player.Maque has other virtual reality ASMR experiences in the works as well, including one designed specifically for VR devices. She and Dekotora have co-founded a media network called PixelWhipt, where they plan to create more VR content that combines the intimate sensory experience of ASMR with the immersion of headsets like the Oculus Rift.

Source: The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction – Boing Boing

IEEE Xplore Abstract – Assessing Knowledge Retention of an Immersive Serious Game vs. a Traditional Education Method in Avi…

Thanks to the increasing availability of consumer head-mounted displays, educational applications of immersive VR could now reach to the general public, especially if they include gaming elements (immersive serious games). Safety education of citizens could be a particularly promising domain for immersive serious games, because people tend not to pay attention to and benefit from current safety materials. In this paper, we propose an HMD-based immersive game for educating passengers about aviation safety that allows players to experience a serious aircraft emergency with the goal of surviving it. We compare the proposed approach to a traditional aviation safety education method (the safety card) used by airlines. Unlike most studies of VR for safety knowledge acquisition, we do not focus only on assessing learning immediately after the experience but we extend our attention to knowledge retention over a longer time span. This is a fundamental requirement, because people need to retain safety procedures in order to apply them when faced with danger.

IEEE Xplore Abstract – Assessing Knowledge Retention of an Immersive Serious Game vs. a Traditional Education Method in Avi….