Nicole, Linda, and Simone are joined this week by Mark DeLoura, game-industry super-veteran and former advisor to the President (yes, the POTUS) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Mark is not a dad, but he’s an uncle. We talk about family gaming and really dig deep into what we’re playing. Listen up!
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News & Views
- Skylanders has a mobile card game now. You can take a picture of the physical cards and they appear in your game. Check out the last episode of The Issue, where Courtney and Simone speculate on the future of Skylanders.
- Transformers are coming to Splatoon’s Splatfest, the 24-hour online tourney that’s Saturday, August 29th.
- The Serious Games Showcase and Challege is open for submissions.
- Project Evo is the first game to apply for FDA approval as a medical treatment. The predessesor, Neuroracer, was featured in a cover story in the prestigious journal Nature. Dr. Adam Gazzaley has done a very cool TED Talk about how action video games can help improve focus and other cognitive abilities.
Mark DeLoura, the White House, and Video Games
Mark DeLoura has worked at Sony, Nintendo, Google, Ubisoft, THQ, and other tech and gaming companies. He comes to us fresh from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “It is this amazing group of 90 people in the White House who are trying to do good things to move America forward using their expertise for a few years.”
- Was the ’90s the heyday of educational games, with games like Reader Rabbit? And where have they all gone? Joan Ganz Cooney Center has a great report, “What in the World Happened to Carmen Sandiego?” that talks about the golden era of edutainment games.
- Where do you go to find good educational games? Mark says….wait for it….Pixelkin. Or Graphite.org. Or Coolmomtech.com. Sometimes you can find good things on 148apps.com. One of the best sources is still word of mouth from other parents. You can also find a publisher you like and keep going to them. What’s the best educational game out there? In Mark’s opinion, the title might go to Dragon Box Algebra. On Pixelkin, you might want to check out:
- How do you sort out all the conflicting information about video games and violence? Mark says we should read Grand Theft Childhood for a great review of the research. (And some reassurance.)
- Virtual reality might be the next controversial technology, but Mark thinks it’s going to be really useful for treating PTSD and phobias. We can’t wait for a VR Portal game.
- Mark doesn’t play many console games—he’s more of a PC guy. The great new console experiences might be VR and alternate reality. We really wish there were more great Kinect games like Disney Fantasia (and Just Dance and Dance Central Spotlight).
What We Played
- Nicole is playing Hearthstone, Hearthstone, and Hearthstone. Tavern Brawl is the new weekly way to play. She’s also playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3. And with Ana, she’s been playing Lumikids Backyard and Learn To Read Nok-Syllables.
- Linda played some of the games in Rare Replay, like old classics Battle Toads, Gunfright, and Banjo Kazooie. Crossy Road, the game we love to hate. Mark says Mountain Goat Mountain has the same kind of addictive gameplay.
- We’re ALL playing Alphabear.
- Simone played Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Very creepy and sad and beatiful, with great sound design, but not for kids.
- Mark played Alphabear and Twelve a Dozen, a very cool math game. He’s been coaching people through the Khan Academy Computer Science course. And he’s working learning how to build electronics with the monthly Tron Club projects. He’s also awaiting his first Bitsbox, another subscription box that arrives each month with a coding project.
Miscellaneous Stuff You Should Do
- Everyone should check out Mark’s Games for Impact Report. We love it! Sign up here to get this treasure chest of great information every week.
- Send us questions!! We love to answer your video gaming questions in the podcast. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. The music is by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Simone de Rochefort, and Mark DeLoura participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening and if you liked this episode, please rate us on iTunes and find us on BlogTalkRadio!