While many students at The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), UCF’s graduate video game development program, want to entertain the world by making the next “Madden NFL Football,” they also are making games that can change the world.
These educational games or “games for good” will be presented at UCF’s Center for Emerging Media from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, April 28. The projects are part of professor Tom Carbone’s GameLab class, where students learn to develop games for non-entertainment purposes like education, simulation and social causes. All the students collaborated with a subject matter expert and this will be the first time the students present them to the public.
The games being demoed are “Ghost Chamber,” “Protoverse,” “Heart of Tin,” “Little Turtle Learning Tools,” “Varteology,” “Polyatomic,” “VHA 2-Step Mentor” and “Why Did Baba Yaga Take My Brother?”
- “Ghost Chamber” is a software plug-in that allows users to create a 3-D hologram of engineering designs that can be manipulated by hand gestures allowing engineers to collaborate more effectively in AutoCAD and other software.
- “Protoverse” is a strategy game designed to educate middle school students on cellular biology. Players fly a spacecraft through the world of a developing cell.
- “Heart of Tin” is a virtual reality adventure game that teaches players how to support those with depression. Players enter the world of the “Wizard of Oz,” where they meet the Tin Man. Players must find effective ways to communicate with him to help him with his depression.
- “Little Turtle Learning Tools” is an educational children’s mobile game that focuses on how children with autism learn. Little Turtle Learning Tools teaches writing, spelling and math along with growing their motor and thinking skills.
- “Varteology” is a virtual reality game that focuses on ancient Chinese art. The player descends into a lost burial tomb of a famous Chinese emperor and interacts with real Chinese artifacts to solve puzzles. The game’s goal is to inspire college freshmen’s interest in Chinese art.
- “Polyatomic” is a virtual reality game where players catch, throw, join and split molecules to learn basic chemistry concepts and achieve a high score.
- “VHA 2-Step Mentor” is a simulation for the Veteran’s Health Administration to train their new sanitation and environmental workers. Players use their computer or mobile device to move through a hospital room and make it clean and safe for a new patient.
- “Why Did Baba Yaga Take My Brother?” aims to teach children empathy using virtual reality and narrative. Players ask questions and perform empathetic actions in the storybook forest of Baba Yaga to find their missing brother.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Faculty, staff and students will be available to comment on any of the projects. FIEA will be livestreaming daily interviews with the teams April 24-27 at 1 pm on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ucffiea . The April 28 presentation will be livestreamed at FIEA’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/ucffiea .
UCF’s Center For Emerging Media is located at 500 West Livingston St., Orlando, FL 32801.