GALA Overview Prof. Alessandro De Gloria Università di Genova - DIBE
Education • Education is a fundamental pillar for a society that has in information and knowldge the main vehicles for development and competition. • Education has to be shaped to be attracting for young people and for workers in a life long perspective as well • Traditional ways for administering education are to be complemented by other methods closer to the new generations and more suitable also for continuos learning.
Serious Games and Technology Enhanced Learning • New technologiesprovidepowerful means for teaching. • Virtual reality, web, hypertext, simulators • Are viable means • Serious Games • Provide a notable improvement • They use the language of the young people • They entertain, i.e. they can be used as a double scope by adults: Occupyleisure time Improve theirknowledge • Either k-12, higher education, and lifelong education can benefit from serious games
USA are already advanced in Serious Games • Clark C. Abt introduced the term «Serious Games» in ’70s • M. Pensky since 2000 promove Serious Games at education and industry level. • DARPA and Navy developed the concept of • Education Dominance: reduce the time to become an expert in a technical domain • Department of Energy: Power House game to reduce 10% energy consumption • DARPA: funded the development of a Game Foldit, it turns one of the hardest problems in molecular biology into a game somehow inspired from Tetris • Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade.
European Union • SGs are a key field for the EU, that aims at strengthening its competitiveness by supporting information and knowledge
Serious Games • Serious game design calls upon vastly wider range of expertise and roles. Michigan State University
SG status in Europe in 2010 • Presence of several institutions that deal with SGs at a high level • EU already promoted study and implementation of SGs: • 80 Days, DynaLearn, TARGET, xDELIA, ROLE, IntelLEO, ELEKTRA, SCY, eCircus, GRAPPLE, ELU, iClass, MATURE, mGBL, LeActiveMath, L2C, PlayMancer ,VitalMind, mEducator,, eVITA, TravelInEurope • Main problems: • Fragmentation (due also to the multidisciplinary nature of SG) • Lack of integration of tools/competences/researchers/business-academia dialogue • Lack of a common roadmap • A Network of Excellence was needed to create and support a community of SG researchers, developers and users
GALA Goals • GaLAcovers the entire pipeline of SG research, production and deployment • For each one of such activities GaLAintends to identify and support interest groups and organize meetings and develop proper tools for cooperation and knowledge/best practice development/sharing • Special attention will be devoted also to education for the preparation of experts in the field and to professional training and technology transfer, for a concrete application and exploitation of the research results
The NoE • GaLA collects excellence researchers on SG in Europe • 31 partners • 17 countries • Universities, Research Centres, Companies
Key NoE Actions • Start to know each other and share common knowledge: • 4 Meetings per year • Genova – Kick Off • Barcelona • Bremen • Genoa – Review Meeting • 2 alignment schools in the first 2 years (1st edition held in Edinburgh) • SinceSG is a very interdisciplinary field, wehavedeliveredtutorials to grasp the basicknowledgefrom eachone of the disciplinesinvolved in SG development and deployment
Associate partnership • The network has defined a framework for associated partnership • Submission forms • Evaluation procedure • Benefits and duties • At present, we have 4 APs applications submitted and several contacts in progress
Common research activities • TCs: Technical Committees on the different SG S&T research fields • SIG: Special interest group on the different SG application domains • Seed projects: a tool for putting in practice the results of the TC and SIG activities and for enlarging the network
Technichal Committes (WP2) • TCs are an instrument for • Monitoring the research • Define research trajectories • Aggregate, systemize and synthesize the knowledge and research activities in a field • Addressing within-area possible fragmentation • Pinpointing solutions, highlighting hot-themes, best practices, critical situations, etc. • TCs are dynamical, a TC can be created or cancelled according to the actual trends • A new TC has been added: Gamification • It is very important since through gamification Serious Games strengthen their impact considering real-world issues
Special Interest Groups (WP3) • SIGs monitor and critically assess commercial and prototype SGs in several application domains • Business and management, engineering and manufacturing, health and fitness, security and safety • SIGs survey stakeholders and users to understand, for each domain: • what the barriers and facilitators are for the adoption of SG • what needs are already addressed and what are overlooked • SIGs are dynamical, a SIG can be created or cancelled according to the actual trends
Living Labs (WP8) • Living Labs are an emerging tool for user-centered design • The SG Living labs will serve two large groups of users • First it will provide general users and stakeholders an access to several different games in an easy way • Second, it will serve as a large test bed for feedback on games • Experiments will be carried out on user interfaces, attention studies, collaborative working, game assessment, etc.
Seed Projects (Cross-WPs) APP1 APP2 APPn
Society on Serious Games • Target: long-term sustainability • Continue the GaLA aims and activities also after the EU funding • Define a common flag • Through the society we can involve other partners at the same level of the GALA partners. • We have a means for: • publishing books, journals • Organizing conferences • Organizing courses • All the constitution documents prepared in the first year • Ongoing discussion about the name of the society • The qualification of the society as European • The «serious games» attribute as the only one • This is related to the future of SGs as foreseen by the NoE
GaLA as a reference in the field • Defragment and harmonize the research in Europe and become a reference in the field • Journals, Books, Masters, Conferences • Demonstrate the application of Serious Games in educational contexts: • Formal education in schools • Life long learning courses in industries
Networking with other NoEs and groups • GALA operates synergically with researchers in Technology Enhanced Learning • In particular, STELLAR, the reference NOE for TEL • Actions have been and will be performed together for reinforcing the TEL research landscape • Joint events and projects • GALA has been and will be present at the main conferences in the field
Provide reference online tools for SGs • Website for information and social interaction • Virtual Research Envinronment • Technological infrastructure to: • Allow the management of the project • Support social networking among the partners • Provide tools for collaborative SG research
First year balance • All the results planned for the first have been achieved • With the exception of the Society • It is a very important milestone • It is expected to last for many years and will be a significant outcome, with an important impact for EU • For these reasons, we believe it is worthwhile to go more in-depth with the discussion about its oganization and name, in order to make the tool as powerful as possible • The NoE members have reached a good degree of reciprocal knowledge and confidence • The first collaborations among members have started, and at every meeting, new groups are freely shaping around new projects • We are becoming a reference point • We are collecting several external partners • A yearly conference will be managed by the NoE • I can see a lot of enthusiam by the partners • People work more than promised and budgeted in the DoW