Track: Games and Simulations

Title Using Serious Games and the Virtual World to Solve Real World Problems
Author(s): Kimberly Winnington
Date Saturday, March 19 15:00
Location: North 1
Abstract Serious games open up many new opportunities for learning in education. They have the potential to be an important teaching tool because they are interactive, engaging and immersive activities. Virtual worlds can provide a comprehensive environment for education, storytelling, collaboration, and problem solving relating to real world issues. The inherent complexity of such virtual games and simulations though, can require large efforts for their development.   We will begin this session by exploring The Virtual Mine.  The Virtual Mine is an immersive, interactive, and educational 3D experience.  It was developed to educate, explore, and examine our nation’s struggle with mountain top removal coal mines in support of the documentary film, Deep Down.  It explores the challenges of balancing the environment, power demands, and economic interests raised in the film by inviting players to take part in a story as it unfolds through a series of three games. Participants will have the opportunity to complete a series of tasks including clearing a section of land and blowing up mountains; going through the town to turn off as many electric items as possible and reduce the demand; building a sustainable grid with solar and wind power terminals; and ultimately trying to solve the power crisis in this virtual town.  As we explore each level, we will take a closer look at how the game can be used in the classroom.  After the walkthrough we will take a closer look at what defines serious games and their relationship to virtual worlds and educational games. We will also examine who is using these games and how they are measuring and assessing learning.  As developers, we will also discuss what goes in to developing these virtual simulations and games, and examine their challenges and successes.  We will conclude the session with Q&A.  This session will be held in the Virtual Mine in Second Life.
Bio(s): Kimberly Winnington: Kimberly Winnington (SL: Gianna Borgnine) is the owner and CEO of Sand Castle Studios, a company dedicated to helping organizations maximize the full potential of virtual worlds and social media by creating interactive, social, and 3D experiences.For the last 3 years, Kimberly has helped SCS clients stay ahead of the curve, and is a respected resource for information on current and developing trends, social media, and immersive experiences. She has worked on such projects as the California Legacy Project with Santa Clara University, PBS Frontline’s Cap and Trade experience with The Center for Investigative Reporting and USC, and NESIM, a Nursing Education Simulation which is currently being used by several universities in-world.She received her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware. She currently resides in Newark, Delaware where she raises puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs in her spare time.

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