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INDUSTRY UNITES FOR SECOND E3 COLLEGE GAME COMPETITION
Video game industry leaders will come together in June to judge the second E3 College Game Competition, an annual challenge which recognizes the top game design talent from U.S. academic institutions.
The 2014 panel of judges includes leaders from top game developers such as Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment; and Siobhan Reddy, studio director at Media Molecule, as well as editors of major game blogs including Brian Crecente, news editor of Polygon; and Dan Hsu, editor-in-chief of GamesBeat. The panel also features industry figures such as Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA; and Kate Edwards, executive director of the International Game Developers Association.
The E3 College Game Competition is open to students at colleges and universities with computer and video game development programs, and challenges these institutions to submit one video game that represents their program. Competing schools are required to submit story details and content assets from their own playable video game. Five finalists will be invited to present their games at E3 2014 in Los Angles, where they will have the opportunity to network with leading video game publishers, developers, marketers, and venture capitalists.
The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s winning team with ESA President and CEO Michael Gallagher.
The competition targets almost 400 American colleges, universities, art, and trade schools offering video game courses, certificates, and degree programs. Last year’s competition ended with a tie between the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Flash Frozen and Savannah College of Art and Design’s Lost in Thought.
Universities and colleges interested in submitting a game to the competition should email ESA@theESA.com for complete instructions, including guidelines on specific design, concept, and key asset requirements. The final deadline for submissions is April 18, 2014.
VIDEO GAMES AND GAME TECHNOLOGY HOLD PROMISE IN CURING PHANTOM PAIN
A new therapy system developed by a Swedish researcher uses augmented reality and video games to treat phantom limb pain, a common side effect of amputations in which patients feel a constant burning or stabbing pain where the missing limb was previously attached.
Max Ortiz-Catalan, a Ph.D. candidate at Chalmers University of Technology and the Centre of Orthopaedic Osseointegration at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, designed a virtual environment in which patients can see and use their missing limbs. This exercise tricks the brain into thinking that the limb is no longer missing, and helps to ameliorate patients’ pain.
By attaching motion-detecting probes to a patient’s amputated limb, the system generates a virtual image of the missing arm or leg. Patients observe their missing limbs in action and later use them to play video games that mimic real-life activities, such as steering a car. Motion helps patients to engage dormant nerves that previously controlled the muscles in their missing limbs.
Ortiz-Catalan’s therapy system.
“At the end of the day, making them use that brain area, which they are not used to using, potentially helps to restore the brain map," explained Ortiz-Catalan.
Ortiz-Catalan’s therapy system builds on mirror therapy, today’s most common treatment for phantom limb pain, in which patients look at the remaining limb in a mirror. Doctors believe this technique fools the brain into thinking that the reflection is the missing arm or leg. While mirror therapy has treated some patients, it has its limitations. For example, amputees cannot simulate using the remaining limb and the missing limb at the same time. Moreover, patients missing both of their arms or both of their legs cannot benefit from the treatment. Ortiz-Catalan’s virtual reality video game system overcomes these limitations by enabling all amputee patients to see and exercise their missing limbs.
Early research shows that Ortiz-Catalan’s new therapy system has helped patients significantly reduce phantom limb pain. Since completing an initial case study on his treatment method, Ortiz-Catalan plans to begin clinical trials of the therapy system at four hospitals. He also plans to expand the groundbreaking treatment to hospitals around the world and use it to treat patients with other medical conditions, such as spinal cord injuries and strokes.
In The News
Latest News Releases
Quote of the Month
"I like to use [videogames] as an engagement piece, to build their word skills and help with their spelling. They can battle each other, we’ll battle half the class against the other class or boys against girls. It’s good to help their word base. They have fun, and start cheering for each other or yelling for each other."
— Clare Kelly, fifth grade teacher at Margaret L. Felty Elementary School in Waxahachie, TX, during the school’s recent “Bring Your Own Device Night,” an event at which parents learned how teachers are leveraging video games in the classroom, and how they can use educational games with their children at home
Did You Know?
A team of researchers from the University of Southern California’s School of Education, Game Innovation Lab, and other academic departments created three games to teach students how to successfully complete a college application. Players navigate a virtual high school and earn points by receiving letters of recommendation, studying in the library, playing sports, and setting and meeting deadlines. The game is designed to help students who are the first in their family to go to college, or who do not have guidance counselors at their school to help guide them through the tedious application process.
Statistic of the Month
According to a study by UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization at the UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, MN, overweight children who received active games added seven minutes of moderate to vigorous activity and three minutes of vigorous activity to their daily routines over 16 weeks. This equates to four pounds of weight loss over the course of a year.
ESA Foundation Impact Update
ESAF is accepting applications for its Education Challenge Grant, an annual competition rewarding teachers who propose innovative lesson plans that feature video games, until April 18. ESAF is also accepting submissions for its annual scholarship and grant programs through May. To learn more about ESAF’s grant opportunities, click here.
Entertainment Software Association
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