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The CGI/E-Line game, Taiga, wins international game competition

News Release
Oct. 24, 2013

‘Taiga’ Wins International Game Competition
CGI/E-Line Media 3D scientific investigation game a leader in games for learning around the world

taigaTempe, Ariz. — The Mystery of Taiga River, created by the Center for Games & Impact and studio partner, E-Line Media, was selected as international winner for the Best Game at the 7th European Conference on Game Based Learning (ECGBL 2013) game competition earlier this month in Porto, Portugal.

“During the competition and throughout our time at the ECGBL 2013 conference we received so much positive feedback on our work with the two games we presented. It is such an honor for our team to win this award and to hear that our research implementing these games was the most compelling data some have seen at the conference,” said Dr. Sasha Barab, executive director for the Center for Games & Impact. “Our team works hard to produce a solid 3D game that includes deep learning science principles, is a beautiful and fun play experience, and offers extensive support to teachers implementing these games in their classroom.”

The Mystery of Taiga River is part of the Atlantis Remixed (ARX)  international learning and teaching initiative that uses 3D multi-user environments to immerse students in educational narratives. The Taiga River story is a game-based science curriculum that uses a water quality mystery to teach students, aged 10-14, concepts like scientific investigation and water quality indicators to solve the problem of dying fish in Taiga River and restore the health of the environment while balancing the needs of the community stakeholders like loggers, fishers and farmers.

“This award is a huge honor, as there were a large number of compelling and sophisticated games submitted to the competition,” said Dr. Anna Arici, senior researcher for the Center for Games & Impact and director of the Quest2Teach Project. “People were impressed with the diversity of learning, engagement, and transactive experiences that take place in our learning games. Not only are they beautiful and captivating, but the data and personal stories from students are wonderfully compelling. Students are working harder, solving complex and real scientific challenges, and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. Where else can a 12-year-old be taken seriously as a water quality expert and get to decide the fate of a national park? It’s really empowering.”

Dr. Barab and Dr. Arici traveled to Portugal to present the Mystery of Taiga River in the games competition and give talks on their research from The Doctor’s Cure, another ARX game, which teaches children to write persuasively and build logic models as they explore the role that ethics play in science and technology, set within a 3D world and interactive narrative based on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

Links to more information:
Atlantis Remixed
The Mystery of Taiga River
The Doctor’s Cure