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ED Games Expo 2019: Announcing the Learning Game Awards to Showcase the Arts in the Games

Elizabeth Newbury

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Game-based learning is gaining popularity for young people and adults both in and out of the classroom. Well-designed games can motivate learners to actively engage in content that relates to coursework, and to master challenging tasks designed to sharpen critical thinking and problem solving, as well as employment and life skills. For these reasons and more, educators are increasingly employing games to enhance the learning process.

To celebrate game-based learning, on January 7-8, 2019, the 6th annual ED Games Expo will occur at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Expo attendees will have the opportunity to meet with game developers and demo more than 100 educational learning games (and many non-game learning technologies). The games and technologies are for learners of all ages in education and special education and cover topics across STEM, reading, social studies and social development. Many games incorporate emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and 3D printer stations and engage students in narrative adventures and puzzles. Most of the games and technologies were developed with the support of more than 25 different programs across the government, many out of the Small Business Innovation Research program at ED/IES and other agencies. For more information about the Expo and how to attend, please contact Edward Metz at

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The Kennedy Center hosts the Expo in recognition of the contribution that the arts play in the game development process.  Through its education programs, including ARTSEdge the Kennedy Center encourages students and stakeholders to consider game development as an opportunity for a range of creative learning experiences and future careers, through concept ideation, design, coding, web-design, graphic art creation, musical score writing and performance, or research and evaluation during and after development.

Announcing the 2019 Learning Games Awards Competition

This year the ED Games Expo is showcasing the game development process through the inaugural Learning Game Awards competition. Members of the public can cast votes for their choice of Best Original Learning Game in the following three categories: “Artwork,” “Musical Score,” and “Video Demonstration.” The award competition is for developers at the Expo who have received funding by federal government programs or for federal government programs that have developed learning games in-house.  The competition was organized by members of the Federal Games Guild, an informal community of practice of federal entities interested in supporting the ecosystem of serious (and educational) games. The awards will be announced January 8th at 6PM at the Expo.

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Please note – only 1 vote per device is allowed, so make sure review all the entries before voting.

Special thanks to Gino Fazio of the CDC for the great work producing the competition!

Written by members of the Federal Games Guild

Ed Metz, US Department of Education;Gino Fazio, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

Elizabeth Newbury, The Wilson Center; Jeanette McCune, the Kennedy Center

About the Federal Games Guild

The Federal Games Guild (FGG) is an informal community of practice of federal agency representatives who are interested in serious games and connects federal entities and staff interested in the application of games in the federal space. Member organizations range in their relationship to using games, from those who support game development through funding, to those active in using innovative technologies in their practice, to those who design and research games as part of their agency’s outreach efforts around public education. While the ways games are part of federal agencies differs depending on agency initiatives, the purpose of this community is to bring federal agencies together to share, learn, and grow together.

FGG representatives come from many agencies and offices, including the Wilson Center, US Department of Education, the Kennedy Center, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum of Library Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information about the FGG, please contact

About the Author

Elizabeth Newbury

Elizabeth Newbury

Director of the Serious Games Initiative
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