Learning Through Gaming: The Fourth International Gaming Day at AUC By Nouran Mohamed, Mohamed Hamed and Mayar El-Sharkawy

"Educational robotics is one of the recent technologies to enhance the learning process. Students are responsible for designing, developing and operating robotics."

- Mustafa Kalender, representative of MindShine for VEX Robotics EDR.

Photo by Mohamed Hamed

Heba Amin, left, sits at her organization’s table at the annual AUC International Gaming Day. Amin, a pharmacist and founder of Fekretna, stated, "As I'm a mother of three kids, I decided to establish Fekretna. So, kids and parents find a place for interactive and intellectual games."

Photo by Mohamed Hamed

The Smart Peak table for AUC's annual International Gaming Day showcased their robot projects that were made by their team and students.

Photo by Mohamed Hamed

Sherif Salama, standing, developer of UNBREAD game, with one of the AUC students while playing UNBREAD, which is a video game featuring the life of a zombie. The game was developed by engineering students at Cairo University.

Photo by Mohamed Hamed

A shot of a participant while playing dice games and activities for learning in front of AUC Main Library building. Photo by Mohamed Hamed.

What You’re Playing to Find, Always Sticks to the Mind!

By Mayar El-Sharkawy and Nouran Mohamed

CAIRO – Nov. 7, 2018: Among all the events that were held throughout the year, there was nothing like the new campus being strewed with games on the International Gaming Day (IGD). In cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA), the American University in Cairo (AUC) has been keen on hosting this event for four years.

IGD is a very special event that numerous universities around the globe hold annually in November. ALA decides on one week during which all the universities worldwide are allowed to hold this event. According to Games in Libraries, the idea of learning through games attracted more than two thousand libraries globally in 2018 only. The peak was in 2015 with 2157 libraries joining the event. Universities, on that day, welcome businesses, initiatives or organizations that provide creative and mentally demanding types of games such as virtual reality gaming for learning.

As explained by Sahar Sobeih, assistant dean of libraries & learning technologies, AUC is the first and the only university in the Middle East to hold this event. The list of IGD participants included Techno Space, Future Technologies and Smart Peak. They were specialized in educational robotics field which involves coding, designing, developing and operating robots. Mustafa Kalender works in the field of educational robotics and he represented MindShine for VEX Robotics EDR. He stated, "Gaming is not just about having fun, it's about learning. "Educational robotics aims to facilitate the process of learning and understanding for students. Kalender clarified that the educational robotics can be applied within the different educational levels from elementary school up to university students.

In terms of preparation for IGD, Sobeih clarified that this year was more challenging than the previous ones. They were almost working with no budget, so the marketing campaign wasn’t as strong. The number of games and organizations involved was also less than the previous years. The event was usually held during the last week of November but this time, the ALA decided it would be during the first week. Therefore, Sobeih started the preparations later, expecting that it would be in the last week like every year.

The overall experience of IGD has brought vivid atmosphere to the campus in which tens of students were eager to try the games and go through the challenges.

Video Coverage of the Fourth International Gaming Day

Students were competing in a car fight, using robotic cars. The robotic cars were made by the MindShine team. MindShine team consists of talents in the fileld of engineering and robotics who are dedicated to improving the quality of education.

Photo by Mayar El-Sharkawy

A group photo of Sahar Sobeih, right, assistant dean of libraries & learning technologies, with the entertainer, magician and staff member at AUC Library. Photo by Mohamed Hamed.

As a part of the activities of International Gaming Day, a student was wearing virtual reality headset and playing a VR game. VR gaming allows the player to interact with a virtual three-dimensional environment.

Photo by Mayar El-Sharkawy

A member of MindShine, left, interacts with AUC students who were interested to know more and register for VEX Robotics Competition that MindShine organizes.

Photo by Mohamed Hamed

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