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Are you a zombie for life, or a survivor? On September 21st, dozens of Marist students and faculty came outside to play a game, "Zombie Ball" created by Brittany Jelinski, Nick Homler '13, and Sarah-Kaitlin Perkins, in Karen Schrier's Concepts in Game Design class in Spring 2013. The game was part of a half-day of outdoor games, called Field Day @ Marist, which were a mix of popular well-established games, such as Capture the Flag, and new games from the Play Innovation Lab, including "Defuse the Bomb" by Daniel Hunter. The "Zombie Ball" game lasted almost 2 1/2 hours and required a photo finish by Marist Game Society President Anthony Barranco to decide the fate--which resulted in the zombies winning. Field Day @ Marist was jointly organized by the Marist Game Society and the Play Innovation Lab.

For more images, check out the Marist Game Society facebook page.

 
 
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Last June, Play Innovation Lab Director Karen Schrier spoke at the Games for Change (G4C) conference. G4C, which is now in its 10th year, attracts game designers, policy makers, educators and academics who are interested in designing and use games to encourage social change. Learn more about G4C and play some fun games for change at their website. Schrier spoke at the conference on creating games for citizen social science, where people can play together to solve large-scale dynamic and complex social problems, through games, similar to how we can solve scientific problems through games. Check out the presentation slides here. Photo courtesy of G4C on flickr.

 
 
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In this article in "Animation Career Review," Director of Play Innovation Lab Karen Schrier discusses the new IM/GD concentration, and her vision for the program and the types of skills that a designer needs. This is also the first mention of the Play Innovation Lab!

 
 
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Gamification is a "trendy" word to describe learning games and practices that typically involves badges and points to motivate learning. However, in this article on gamification, Play Innovation Lab Director Karen Schrier argues that games should do more than extrinsically motivate kids to help them learn. Instead, they can motivate players "in a way that authentically and intrinsically makes students more engaged with and enthusiastic about the subject," such as history. Schrier describes her game, "Reliving the Revolution," which she created 9 years ago at MIT as a proof of concept that we can make location-based history games that engage kids in learning about the past. For more about Reliving the Revolution, check out this article from Gamasutra.

 
 
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Three of the students in Dr. Schrier's Concepts in Gaming course (Dan Hunter, Thomas Noble and Grace Shin) worked on a fantastic card game to teach high school students about bacteria. See images of the card game (and card mat) below! (Images courtesy of the team)

 
 
The new Play Innovation Lab at Marist College is launching the Fall of 2013, with around six students already on board and working on initial projects. Check out our initial project list here and some recent research here. The list of students working for the PlayLab can be found here.