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Typing of the Dead

       Totem's top 10 serious games    Who doesn’t love a list?!  The team here at Totem Learning have been discussing our all-time favourite Games for Learning, or Serious Games (not to be confused with Gamification). It’s a really interesting subject we want to share with you all!  It was very difficult narrowing down our favourite games to just ten. How can you compare a game like ‘Americas Army’, an army simulation game boasting prestigious awards such as “Guinness World Record for ‘Most Downloaded War Game’ 2009” and the eagerly awaited, ‘Code Spells’ which teaches Coding in an immersive magical landscape? They deal with two very different subjects and have different goals. But after lots of ‘umm’s and ‘aah’s we have collated a list together (with no real order) to share with you accompanied with the promise to explore all the genre has to offer in greater depth in the coming weeks.     Re-Mission     A third person shooter developed by HopeLab with direct input from medical staff and young cancer sufferers. It teaches children in remission about their treatments and the importance of their follow up care in a unique and informative way. It’s been a huge success! Achieving its goal with such success a sequel has even been released boasting even further successes such as winning ‘the Parents’ Choice Gold Award’.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


            Free Rice     An incredibly worthwhile game that everybody should play as often as they can. This game educates players on various subjects while simultaneously helping those most vulnerable.  It has accomplished so much since its release, late 2007; over 98,117,454,870 grains of rice have been donated to those in need through this simple multiple choice game.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Food Force    A contender for the most downloaded game in the Serious Game genre and a sequel co-developed with Konami; this game teaches the importance of food nutrition.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       
           Nightmare: Malaria     Educating players on malaria while simultaneously working towards the end of the, completely preventable, disease; this game is challenging, both in gameplay and emotionally, with an impressively beautiful art style.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


          September 12th      A simple, yet profound game! Straight to the point; Shoot or Don’t. Very few games have achieved the level of impact this game has and none to our knowledge in such a short time frame. If you make the choice to ‘play’ the game you quickly realise how impulsive action only brings you further away from your goal.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        DragonBox     Secretly teaching children Algebra! DragonBox proudly boasts teaching 83% of children the basics of algebra in under an hour of game play. What results! This game had to make the list. If you check out the reviews on the Play Store adults are raving about the game. There’s been some obvious competition between parents and children to play the app too!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        The Leadership Game     Shameless Promotion! Our leadership game has been used by all sorts of people in managerial professions, including Football Management teams and CEO’s. It is currently undergoing a complete upgrade with some really interesting and innovative mechanics accompanied by beautiful graphics being included in the new release.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


          Typing of the Dead       
        
        
        Fighting off Zombies while learning to type; an inspired combination! Lovers of the zombie genre will find endless hours of entertainment playing this touch-typing game.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Grace’s Diary     Gorgeous graphics, simple gameplay, abusive relationships- this game deals with this sensitive issue effectively, providing players with the necessary skills to recognise abusive relationships (whether their own or a friends') and information on how best approach the situation.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        The Business Game     More Shameless Promotion! But we believe in our products and we know their merit so no apologies from us! This simulation game teaches great business and enterprising skills regardless of age or experience. The aim is to turn a profit and run a successful business, adjusting constantly to the market for three virtual years. Players will have to be adaptable and forward thinking to beat the game, it’s a real challenge! You can always message us for a free trial and try it for yourself; but be warned the Yellow Robin Reliant!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     There are so many exceptional games in this innovative and ever-progressing genre; this list is just a taster! Serious Games are used to educate on so many issues it would be folly to think this list is conclusive. It is just a scratch on the surface! In the coming weeks, we will be going into the different applications Serious Games have been used for and feature the top ten of those categories.   In the meantime let us know your favourites! We would love to hear your views too, tweet us @teamtotem or use #TL10

TOTEM'S TOP 10 SERIOUS GAMES

Who doesn’t love a list!

The team here at Totem Learning have been discussing our all-time favourite Games for Learning, or Serious Games. It’s a really interesting subject we want to share with you all! 

       Halloween Special: Scary Serious Games!     It’s Halloween and we’ve been thinking about ghouls and ghosts and the whole horror gaming genre and how that has been leveraged in the Serious Games world.   Here are a few Serious Games that sprung to mind:  Nevermind     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Image from www.nevermindgame.com with thanks   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     This game which is being developed by Flying Molusk uses BioFeedback technology to detect your heart rate, so that the game dynamically responds to your fear or anxiety:  “Nevermind is a biofeedback-enhanced adventure horror game that takes you into the dark and twisted world of the subconscious.  As you explore surreal labyrinths and solve the puzzles of the mind, a biofeedback sensor will monitor how scared or stressed you become moment-to-moment. If you let your fears get the best of you, the game will become harder. If you’re able to calm yourself in the face of terror, the game will be more forgiving.  Nevermind strives to create a haunting gameplay experience that also teaches you how to be more aware of your internal responses to stressful situations. If you can learn to control your anxiety within the disturbing realm of Nevermind, just imagine what you can do when it comes to those inevitable stressful moments in the real world…” www.nevermindgame.com  See the  website  for a video and more information  Typing of the Dead     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Image from www.thisisozone.com  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     In a nutshell, rather than shooting zombies in this game, players must type out words or phrases to kill them. The words or phrases which appear in a box increase in complexity as the game progresses.  Despite being a learning game, this game received huge praise for its humour and originality from mainstream critics. Here’s a  video  of the original, although further versions have been released since.  Zombies, Run!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     This falls into the camp of health games. It is a mobile game that works with GPS.  From their website  www.zombiesrungame.com   “Zombies, Run! works anywhere and at any speed. We immerse you in an action-packed game and story mixed with your own music, whether you're jogging in a park, running along a trail, walking to work, or even running on treadmills.  And if you want a serious workout, turn on thrilling zombie chases that force you to speed up to escape the hordes!”  Here’s the  trailer  for Zombies, Run! 3:      Its known that using emotion of all kinds (even fear) can enhance the learning experience, helping to make the learning more ‘sticky’ and create those memory hooks, not to mention making the game more exciting and engaging. At Totem Learning we’ve taken inspiration from the horror game genre – for example by using certain mechanics to create a sense of claustrophobia in our game about the danger of enclosed spaces on board cargo ships (with GUI inspired by The Walking Dead!), and using paranoia and fear in a concept that we worked up for a multiplayer game that tests strengths in a variety of 21st Century skills: the Phoenix Project (for the trailer video click  here )     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              The 'Gateway' hospital in Phoenix Project  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     A final point that I can’t omit on the subject of scary serious games is the Uncanny Valley. Animated avatars abound for role plays and interactions in the world of serious games – but have you ever seen games in which the characters (unintentionally) look terrifying? The uncanny valley hypothesis explains this:- as a simulated human (e.g. robot or 3D computer animation)  becomes more realistic the response is that of revulsion as we notice the differences. The below chart illustrates the point and a great video by Extra Credits on what this means for games can be found  here      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Repliee Q2 an Actroid developed by Osaka University and unveiled in 2003  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     If you know of other scary serious games, we'd love to hear about them @teamtotem

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HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: SCARY SERIOUS GAMES!

It’s Halloween and we’ve been thinking about ghouls and ghosts and the whole horror gaming genre and how that has been leveraged in the Serious Games world.

Here are a few Serious Games that sprung to mind:

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