AMD is looking for proof that video games can teach

Official Press Releaseamd_logo_us-en

AMD  and Learning Games Network announced the A-HA Moment video contest, a competition for students to demonstrate how video game play can result in serious learning.*

The contest, open to U.S. students age 13 and older in middle school, high school and post-secondary school, consists of two main categories. The “A-ha Moment” category asks contestants to create a video explaining how playing video games reinforced something they had first learned elsewhere. The “My Dream Assignment” category asks them to describe a game that could be “required playing” for a class at school. The contest is open now through May 31.

“Digital game play as an entertainment vehicle is undisputed, but we believe games can also serve as valuable educational tools,” said Andrew Blanco, Director of Program and Business Development for the Learning Games Network. “This contest encourages students to exercise their creativity while sharing their perspectives on games’ potential.”

“We live in a visual age where gameplay – and game development in particular – can motivate students to learn in ways that can’t be matched by non-visual learning mechanisms,” said Allyson Peerman, vice president of Public Affairs for AMD and President of the AMD Foundation. “Inspiring youth through social game development is the mission behind AMD Changing the Game and this contest is another vehicle to help advance that mission.”

AMD Changing the Game, the signature education initiative of the AMD Foundation, is designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills by equipping them to create digital games with social content. The program’s purpose is to promote the use of youth game development as a tool to inspire learning, improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills. The initiative is rooted in AMD’s commitment to and experience in supporting education and the company’s passion and expertise in the graphics processor and gaming industries.

First-place contest winners in each age group will be eligible to receive a 16 inch HP Pavilion dv6 series notebook, powered by an AMD Turion™ X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor ZM-84.

For an entry form and full contest details and rules, please visit

Launched in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has funded four non-profit organizations that teach youth game development; explored social issues in Teen Second Life and created a video interest area for students and teachers to use to explore how to create video games; sponsored the 5th Annual Games for Change Festival; funded an online toolkit to help non-profits create games on social issues; launched an AMD Changing the Game page on Facebook; and funded the development of a youth game-development curriculum with PetLab and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The curriculum is currently being piloted in five U.S. cities and is expected to be available in mid-2009 for other organizations to use.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Zeblue says:

    I think the question “Can any form of interaction NOT instill a person with information they did not have before?” is a much tougher question. Of course video games teach! Putting aside things like dexterity, hand-eye coordination and typing skills, video games teach so much more!

    Think about it. Every video game is a puzzle, already! You must learn how to play each game, and while many game controls are similar, they have their unique quirks, much like a jig-saw puzzle. You learn the problem solving concepts that need to be applied and then transfer learned behavior to another situation where that skill could be useful.

    Besides problem solving, video games can teach team work, multitasking, and efficiency-driven behavior. Team work from many MMOs or multiplayers. Multitasking from most any game where there is more than one goal or task to manage. Efficiency-driven behavior, meaning that the player wants to accomplish the goals in game as quickly and/or thoroughly as possible.

    Even very simple games teach these things. Look at most any Flash game made by Big Fish! Bah… this comment’s getting too long, lol!

    1. custompcmax says:

      Great comment with some very good points. Gaming is definitely more than just mindlessly staring at the TV, though it often is lumped together with it.

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