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Deadline Extended for WILL Interactive's $500,000 Simulate A Better World Challenge

*** DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 20th ***

WILL Interactive, an international leader in creating custom educational simulations, has launched an incredible opportunity.  They are calling it their ‘$500,000 Simulate a Better World Challenge.’  (Find out more here.)

Basically, they are asking for people to submit ideas for a full-blown educational simulation that, if deployed, would have a positive social impact.  WILL will then put the top five submissions up to vote, and then build the winner and distribute it.

Frankly, if almost any other sim company offered this, I would be less excited.  WILL's offer should be tempting to anyone because:

  • WILL Interactive has an incredible track record of creating educational sims.
  • WILL Interactive has tackled more hard, socially tricky, complicated issues than anyone else.  They are so successful because they are so honest, as well as being so competent. (See Hate Comes Home
  • WILL Interactive really does want to make the world a better place.  I have known these people for a long time, and every time I leave them, I leave uplifted and excited  They are a wonderful, world-class team in all senses of the word.
So, please visit their site and submit an idea or two.  And please pass this news on.  This really is a chance to make the world a bit better.  The more ideas that are submitted, the greater chance the right one is chosen.

Thanks,

Blackstone Private Equity Finance



Title Blackstone Private Equity Finance
Version 1
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer Harvard Business School Publishing
Developer Forio Online Simulations/ Harvard Business School Publishing
Series
Number in Series
Company Description Forio Sim technology distinguishes itself from fixed, step-by-step or first-person, video game-style simulations by employing proven pedagogical strategies to challenge and sharpen your workforce’s capacity for strategic thinking. More advanced than "branching video" simulations, Forio Sims excel at modeling and reinforcing sophisticated behaviors, solidifying important training principals and leaving measurable, long-term results.
Description In late summer 2003, The Blackstone Group LP was contemplating whether to launch a tender offer for Celanese AG's common shares as part of a friendly takeover. The transaction, if successful, would constitute the largest European public-to-private transaction in history. Users play the role of either Celanese or Blackstone and conduct due diligence, establish deal terms, respond to bids and counter-bids, while balancing interests of other stakeholders.
Categories/Folksonomy Leveraged Buyouts, Mergers and Acquisitions, Negotiations, Financial Valuation
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer
Lead Artist / Video
Price $37.50/user corporate training or executive education, $12.50/user academic
Link http://forio.com/sim-store/demos/harvard-blackstone-private-equity-acquisition-finance-simulation.html
Demo Available yes
Link to Video
Link(s) to Support Material http://forio.com/about-forio/help-and-support/
Platform(s) Broswers Based using IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari
Customizable (1 to 10) 5
Special Hardware None
Toolkit/Language used HTML/Javascript/Flash
Year Designed 2010
LMS Integration/ SCORM Yes
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) MBA
Student time 1-3 hours
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available Open
Single player/Multiplayer multiplayer
Category: Serious Game


Profile: Pythagoras Proof


Title Pythagoras Proof
Version 1
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Developer Monterey Institute for Technology and Education
Series Algebra I
Number in Series
Company Description The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education is an educational non-profit organization committed to improving access to education. MITE (pronounced "mighty") manages a range of projects from establishing systems for the development and distribution of open educational content to efficacy studies and other educational research.
Description Pythagoras Proof plays on the notion of a proof without words, exploiting the game mechanic made popular by Tetris by having learners combine polyominoes representing the squares of two sides of the exemplary triangle of the theorem, 32 is nonomino and 42 is a polyomino of sixteen squares, to make up a square that is 5 on a side, or 52. The object of the gameplay is to reinforce the relationship that Pythagoras discovered.
Categories/Folksonomy math
Lead Designer Michael Carter, PhD
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer Chris Carson
Lead Artist / Video Chris Carson
Price Open Educational Resource
Link nrocmath.org
Demo Available
Link to Video
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) Flash-enabled browser
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware
Toolkit/Language used MediaFusionPro2
Year Designed 2010
LMS Integration/ SCORM
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) Eighth grade
Student time 15 minutes
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available O
Single player/Multiplayer Single player
Category: Serious Game

Do you really want to change education? 2012 Acton Rising Star in Education Innovation $10,000/ $50,000 Challenge

I am thrilled to be a guide with this unique challenge.  Anyone who is interested in changing education should learn more about this.

Profile: Bermuda Triangles


Title Bermuda Triangles
Version 1
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation
Developer Monterey Institute for Technology and Education
Series Algebra I
Number in Series
Company Description The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education is an educational non-profit organization committed to improving access to education. MITE (pronounced "mighty") manages a range of projects from establishing systems for the development and distribution of open educational content to efficacy studies and other educational research.
Description Bermuda Triangles uses the same concept that was popular among kids in books like the Where’s Waldo? and the I Spy series, and now has a vast audience online in hidden object games to sequester triangles in objects arrayed in three separate tropical scenes. The learner is given a slope and challenged to find it in an object in the scene.
Categories/Folksonomy math
Lead Designer Michael Carter, PhD
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer Chris Carson
Lead Artist / Video Jamie Diy
Price Open Educational Resource
Link nrocmath.org
Demo Available
Link to Video
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) Flash-enabled browser
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware
Toolkit/Language used MediaFusionPro2
Year Designed 2010
LMS Integration/ SCORM
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) Eighth grade
Student time 15 minutes
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available O
Single player/Multiplayer Single player
Category: Serious Game


Profile: The War Inside



Title The War Inside
Version 1
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer US Army Medical Department
Developer WILL Interactive. Inc
Series
Number in Series
Company Description WILL Interactive, Inc., based in Potomac, Maryland, is among the most experienced and highly awarded computer-based simulation and serious game developers in the United States. Founded in 1994, WILL is the inventor and sole producer of Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®) and the patented Interactive Behavior Modification System upon which all VEILS® are built. VEILS® technology allows users to become the lead character(s) in an interactive move, make decisions and experience the consequences. To date, WILL Interactive has created 70+ high-end training simulations in the past 17 years for some of the most influential and respected organizations in the country.
Description Designed for Army-wide distribution as a cornerstone soldier behavioral health and PTSD education program, The War Inside sheds light into the psychological challenges of coming home with combat stress and the toll it takes on individuals, families, and society. In The War Inside, you play as four different characters connected to a platoon that has just returned from combat. Each character explores the challenges of coming home: a young Specialist with severe combat stress/PTSD trying to understand and control his behavior, a Sergeant growing distant from his wife and child, a Spouse trying to understand what’s wrong with her husband and what to do about it, and a Platoon Sergeant trying to create a command climate that is more accepting of behavioral health.
Categories/Folksonomy Military/Healthcare
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers Claudia Meyers
Lead Programmer Chad Moone
Lead Artist / Video Grady Weatherford
Price Free to Military
Link
Demo Available Yes
Link to Video http://willinteractive.com/demos/the-war-inside/
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) VEILS
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware No
Toolkit/Language used Flash
Year Designed 2010
LMS Integration/ SCORM Yes
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) All
Student time 30 min.
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available R
Single player/Multiplayer Multi
Category: Serious Game

Building a Serious Game to Teach Ethics

Simulations and serious games are increasingly being used to develop not just competence but true conviction. The organizational value is obvious:
  • People who learn conviction are not capricious. They stick to these convictions, even in times of boredom, greed, and stress. 
  • They are also ridiculously powerful at holding others accountable to the same higher standard. 
  • And they apply and improvise the material to appropriately adapt it to situations not covered in the formal course. 
This requires a specific design approach.
  • Allow the student to experiment with their traditional behavior. Allow them to do what they would naturally do in a familiar setting. (This is impossible, by the way, in a classroom based role-play, where people are on their best behavior.) When they do something wrong, show them both the immediate, apparent, and high-probability consequences (which are often positive) of their traditional behavior, but also the long term, hidden, and/or "unlikely" but possible consequences (which can be devastating). Allow the player to experience emotionally the direct negative consequences.
  • Visualize the "invisible system," which is the flow of events that people can't normally see, but leads to any devastating outcomes.
  • Allow students to repeat the scenarios (which means they can't be too long, or rely too much on linear content), and then "discover" for themselves the right way of doing things. Students can now learn without ever being taught.
In general cases, it is a straight forward task to create an environment in which a player can experiment and purely learn something new (with depth and conviction).  A genuine curiosity plus an interactive environment and a few tasks leads to a profound understanding.  


Here, non financial managers played around with pricing, value chain, and inventory strategies to gain comfort with the interrelationships.
The sub-category of ethics is a bit trickier
Most ethics (or safety, or sexual harassment, or information assurance) situations are a bit trickier.  Here, often enough, people "know" the right thing (or they can be simply taught), but don't have necessarily deep enough conviction when tested. 


There are two different strategies I can use when developing sims for these "pure conviction" learning objectives.  I can either dive straight in or put forth a MacGuffin context.  

1. Direct Approach

Diving straight in and dealing with the topic directly is tricky because, as mentioned, people in classroom style role-playing are on their best behavior.  However, I can get around this by a) forcing people to do wrong things (such as in the gun safety example below), or b) putting people in a position where they supervise or patrol problems, rather than be the problem (first cyber example below).


In this Army Serious Game, soldiers were asked to "be part of an experiment in a lab situation  looking at the effects of weather and other factors on personal firearm safety."  The game presented soldiers with a safe environment (simulated shooting at targets in a lab) to engage in risky behavior (shooting in inclement weather or even in a simulated tired or drunk state), where they could nonetheless become aware of the impact of the environment on awareness and accuracy.


In this cyber security example,  the player has a high level responsibility for keeping out threats (the red balls) while maintaining productivity.  The player can set up firewalls or encryption or training or other strategies.


2. In Context
Alternatively, I can create a MacGuffin context  Specifically, I have to create an environment in which the player is put in an abstracted situation that matches the activities and emotions of the real world, including where they have some pressure.  It is in this context that they have the opportunity to try out any risky behavior, and then get the consequences. 


In this game sponsored by the World Anti-Doping Agency, players engage in a challenging, real-time fictitious sport (a MacGuffin activity) which they want to win.  One option available to them to boost their stats in the other part of the game is doping.


In this cyber security example, players have to complete work (similar to Sally's Spa) that may have up to four parts.  Each piece of work helps or hurt scores around productivity, good will, and home life.  It is in this pressure environment that players have to evaluate every new request as either legitimate and fraudulent.  



Developing ethics requires a bit of planning.  But as one builds sims, one increasingly realizes why the old ways don't work.

Profile: Universal Rental Car Pricing



Title Universal Rental Car Pricing
Version 2
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer Harvard Business School Publishing
Developer Forio Online Simulations/ Harvard Business School Publishing
Series
Number in Series
Company Description Forio Sim technology distinguishes itself from fixed, step-by-step or first-person, video game-style simulations by employing proven pedagogical strategies to challenge and sharpen your workforce’s capacity for strategic thinking. More advanced than "branching video" simulations, Forio Sims excel at modeling and reinforcing sophisticated behaviors, solidifying important training principals and leaving measurable, long-term results.
Description As the district manager for the Florida region of Universal Rental Car, you can adjust your prices and car fleet size in Tampa, Orlando, and Miami as you respond to changing customer demand and competition. The Universal Rental Car Pricing Simulation teaches the principles of pricing and capacity management. The simulation covers core pricing concepts including:-The nature and dynamics of consumer response to price (price elasticities)-Pricing for specific customer segments and geographic markets-The role of fixed costs and variable costs in pricing decisions-The role of pricing in managing product inventory
Categories/Folksonomy Pricing, Capacity Management, Marketing, Demand Elasticity
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer
Lead Artist / Video
Price $37.50/user corporate training or executive education, $12.50/user academic
Link http://forio.com/sim-store/demos/harvard-rental-car-pricing-simulation.html
Demo Available yes
Link to Video
Link(s) to Support Material http://forio.com/about-forio/help-and-support/
Platform(s) Broswers Based using IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari
Customizable (1 to 10) 5
Special Hardware None
Toolkit/Language used HTML5
Year Designed 2011
LMS Integration/ SCORM Yes
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) MBA
Student time 1-3 hours
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available Open
Single player/Multiplayer single
Category: Serious Game


Profile: Ways Home



Title Ways Home
Version 1
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer Fannie Mae
Developer WILL Interactive. Inc
Series
Number in Series
Company Description WILL Interactive, Inc., based in Potomac, Maryland, is among the most experienced and highly awarded computer-based simulation and serious game developers in the United States. Founded in 1994, WILL is the inventor and sole producer of Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®) and the patented Interactive Behavior Modification System upon which all VEILS® are built. VEILS® technology allows users to become the lead character(s) in an interactive move, make decisions and experience the consequences. To date, WILL Interactive has created 70+ high-end training simulations in the past 17 years for some of the most influential and respected organizations in the country.
Description Ways Home, produced in collaboration with Fannie Mae, addresses the foreclosure crisis that is currently affecting millions of American homeowners and offers information and strategies that can be used to avoid foreclosure. Users have the opportunity to play as three homeowners who are in different distinct positions of economic distress. You make the difficult decisions that could lead to successfully working with your lender and keeping your home, or perhaps your decisions will send you on the path to financial ruin. What you do next is up to you, and time is not on your side.
Categories/Folksonomy Corporate
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers Chris Stezin
Lead Programmer Chad Moone
Lead Artist / Video Adam Silver
Price FREE
Link
Demo Available Yes
Link to Video http://willinteractive.com/demos/ways-home/
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) VEILS
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware No
Toolkit/Language used Flash
Year Designed 2011
LMS Integration/ SCORM No
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) All
Student time 30 min.
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available O
Single player/Multiplayer Single Player
Category: Educational Simulations


Profile: Crazy Plant Shop



Title Crazy Plant Shop
Version
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer
Developer Filament Games
Series
Number in Series
Company Description
Description In Crazy Plant Shop, students learn about plant genetics by taking on the role of a budding young botanist who operates a plant shop that specializes in rare and exotic breeds of plants!
Categories/Folksonomy Science, Education, Genetics
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer
Lead Artist / Video
Price up to 1 user $9.99; up to 5 users $19.98; up to 20 users $59.94; up to 30 users $89.91; up to 40 users $119.88; up to 200 users $399.60; up to 500 users $999.00; up to 1000 users $1,998.00
Link http://filamentgames.com/projects/ crazy-plant-shop
Demo Available Yes
Link to Video http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fLRESkm0W-g&list=UUJasXa4exOSaouCSjJT04SA &index=4&feature=plcp
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) PC, MAC, Online/Website
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware
Toolkit/Language used
Year Designed 2011
LMS Integration/ SCORM
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) Academic - Grades 6 - 8
Student time 1-2 hours
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available Available for Purchase
Single player/Multiplayer Single Player
Category: Serious Game

Profile: Anatomy of Care




Title Anatomy of Care
Version 2
Other versions 1
Sponsor/Producer MedStar Health/Washington Hospital Center
Developer WILL Interactive. Inc
Series
Number in Series
Company Description WILL Interactive, Inc., based in Potomac, Maryland, is among the most experienced and highly awarded computer-based simulation and serious game developers in the United States. Founded in 1994, WILL is the inventor and sole producer of Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®) and the patented Interactive Behavior Modification System upon which all VEILS® are built. VEILS® technology allows users to become the lead character(s) in an interactive move, make decisions and experience the consequences. To date, WILL Interactive has created 70+ high-end training simulations in the past 17 years for some of the most influential and respected organizations in the country.
Description From the doctors, to the desk clerks, to the nurses, to the environmental services workers, everyone needs to understand the impact of their actions on patient care and the perception of care for patients and family members. In The Anatomy of Care you become five different hospital team members, experience difficult situations and make decisions that determine your story and your final outcome. Can you make the right decisions related to customer service and patient satisfaction that lead to success? You choose. You decide.
Categories/Folksonomy Healthcare
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers Claudia Meyers
Lead Programmer Chad Moone
Lead Artist / Video Grady Weatherford
Price Variable
Link
Demo Available Yes
Link to Video http://willinteractive.com/demos/the-anatomy-of-care/
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) VEILS
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware No
Toolkit/Language used Flash
Year Designed 2006/2009
LMS Integration/ SCORM Yes
Skill Level (Corporate/Military/Government)/Grade Level (Academic) All
Student time 30 minutes
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available R
Single player/Multiplayer Multi
Category: Serious Game


Profile: You Make Me Sick



Title You Make Me Sick
Version
Other versions
Sponsor/Producer
Developer Filament Games
Series
Number in Series
Company Description
Description In You Make Me Sick, students learn how viruses and bacteria transmit disease by designing pathogens and trying to infect human hosts (overcoming their strengths and capitalizing on their vulnerabilities).
Categories/Folksonomy Science Education
Lead Designer
Other Designers/ Writers
Lead Programmer
Lead Artist / Video
Price Up to 1 user $9.99; up to 5 users $19.98; up to 20 users $59.94; up to 30 users $89.91; up to 40 users $119.88; up to 200 users $399.60; up to 500 users $999.00; up to 1000 users $1,998.00 
Link http://filamentgames.com/ products/ you-make-me-sick
Demo Available Yes
Link to Video http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=tO7VWBLM7CI& list=UUJasXa4exOSaouCSjJT04SA& index=3&feature=plcp
Link(s) to Support Material
Platform(s) PC, MAC, Online/Website
Customizable (1 to 10)
Special Hardware
Toolkit/Language used
Year Designed 2011
LMS Integration/ SCORM
Skill Level (Corporate/ Military/ Government)/ Grade Level (Academic) Academic - Grades 6 - 8
Student time 1-2 hours
Available ([O]pen / [R]estricted by Organization / [N]o longer Available Available for Purchase
Single player/Multiplayer Single Player
Category: Serious Game