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VSGI New Partnerships Can Boost The Serious Games Field

Image credit: Yogome

The Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI) at George Mason University announced in August two major partnerships with Tencent Games and Yogome that can boost the Serious Games field:

1. The world’s largest gaming company, Tencent Games, has made a three-year, $1 million gift commitment to VSGI. Tencent’s generous gift, the largest ever received by VSGI, will support student scholarships (both graduate and undergraduate), Mason Game and Technology Academy (MGTA) teacher training, and promising new endeavors at VSGI. This partnership will help solidify VSGI as a global leader in the applied-research and development of Serious Games.

“We believe that, by working together with George Mason University, we will be able to reach our goal of giving gamers and game creators across the world access to Serious Games with even greater cultural value.” said Ming Liu, Vice President of Tencent Games. “Through this partnership, we are excited to cultivate more talent driven by neo-culture creativity in the Serious Games field, and we look forward to seeing the impact of their creations on the gaming industry.”

Tencent Games is a unit of Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China and around the world.

2. Yogome, a global leader in digital learning and children’s education, also announced in August that it is partnering VSGI. The primary purpose of this partnership is to research the impact of applying a deep learning algorithm to children’s gaming experiences and will be conducted over a two-year study.

Founded by Manolo Diaz and Alberto Colin, Yogome’s highly entertaining but academically robust games have been embraced by parents and students alike.

This is the third research study Yogome has partnered on. Yale University’s Play2PREVENT Lab found improvements in student efficacy during a study conducted in 2016, and a research partnership with Stanford University is ongoing.

“Our education experts believe there will be a direct correlation between our algorithm and improved learning outcomes,” said Manolo Diaz, Yogome CEO. “We’re excited to work with VSGI to ensure our products really help the children who enjoy them.”

The research study was first suggested at the annual EdTechXEurope Conference, where Diaz had a chance meeting with Scott Martin, Ph.D., VSGI’s Founding Director. After it became apparent that Yogome and VSGI shared a mission of leveraging technology to create a brighter future for children globally, Martin suggested collaborating to conduct ongoing research.

“Yogome is one of the rare education technology companies that can demonstrate their learning games are successful at changing young lives supported by formal research study results,” said Martin. “We look forward to launching our new research partnership by exploring how Yogome’s deep-learning adaptive algorithms impact learning… and influence the art and science of teaching.”

The research partnership, that also includes the Mason Game & Technology Academy, will begin officially in Fall of 2018. The research partnership will be measuring the impact of educational gaming for young learners - grades three to five.

Yogome will also open an office within the VSGI incubator at George Mason University and will be offering internships to students interested in expanding their knowledge in Education Technology.