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Winners Announced in 2008 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge

The I/ITSEC has announced the winners in its Serious Games Showcase & Challenge, with this year's entries covering subjects including ecological balance, geo-location, Canadian army military procedures, and medical treatment of burn victims.
The Interservice/Industry Training Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) has announced the winners in its Serious Games Showcase & Challenge competition. Winning entries for this year covered subjects including ecological balance, geo-location, military procedures of the Canadian army, and medical treatment of burn victims. Competition proved fierce in this year's contest, which attracted an entrant field that "nearly tripled" the previous year's turnout, according to a press release issued by the I/ITSEC. Developers of various career backgrounds were tasked with creating serious game applications for consideration in winning one of five awards: Best Overall Serious Game, Best Small Business Serious Game, Best Government Serious Game and Best Student Serious Game. After a long evaluation process, the entries were narrowed down to 12 finalists in three categories, which were judged by "a panel of nearly 50 distinguished serious game experts from academia, government, and industry." 360Ed's Burn Center received both the Overall Best Serious Game and Best Small Business Game awards in this year's contest. Burn Center simulates the aftermath of a large-scale disaster involving multiple burn victims, with gameplay focusing on medically-accurate treatment procedures. According to 360Ed's website, in-game medical accuracy was assured in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health and the University of Florida Department of Surgery. The Best Government Game award went to Intelligence Gaming's GeoCommander, a geo-location training simulation developed for the U.S. Navy. Aimed at military personnel with limited training, GeoCommander teaches the effective use of advanced technology to identify the geographic locations of hostile forces. High school interns Alexander Wein and Carl Jackson won the Best Student Game award for their entry, Age of Ecology, which was developed during the pair's internship at the United States Geologic Survey. Age of Ecology's strategy-oriented gameplay centers around finding an optimal balance between industrial and environmental factors while facing problems such as pollution and natural disasters. Canadian Forces: Direct Action earned the competition's People's Choice award. Developed by the Canadian Armed Forces' Army Learning Support Center, Direct Action is a training tool that simulates the engagement procedures of the Canadian Army. Real-world locations and weaponry provide increased realism throughout a variety of simulated operations. Next year's Serious Games Showcase & Challenge will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 30th until December 3rd. The game submission deadline is September 15th, 2009.

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