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Entertainment Software Association Foundation awards grant to FAS for immune attack

WASHINGTON DC The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) will reach new levels with Immune Attack TM the first biologically accurate immunology video game through a generous grant awarded by the ESA Foundation (ESAF). This bold and fun game is available for download at

"We expect to release the next version of Immune Attack in February 2009," said Melanie Stegman, project manager for the FAS Learning Technologies Program. "We're interested in learning how the game can best serve our audience. We will be evaluating the game with students and teachers to ensure our game is engaging, easy to get started and used widely. ESAF funds will enable us to address these issues. Additionally, we'll release a Spanish language version in late 2009."

The cutting-edge game is designed to teach how the immune system works to defend the body against invading bacteria. Immune Attack is a complement to the learning that happens in the classroom. The visual elements and simulations are critical for grasping the complex interactions of the biological systems. The game allows students to use sights, sounds, and touch to get better acquainted with the immune system.

"We are pleased to help these organizations address such critical social issues," said Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. "The creativity and commitment of these recipients gives us a glimpse into the countless ways technology, including video games, can be used to improve the quality of life of our young people."

FAS is researching and developing ways to produce complex games and 3-D interactive simulations that will one day revolutionize education and how people learn. These learning games help students and workers learn globally competitive skills in demand by employers.

"FAS provides Immune Attack to teachers and students across the U.S.," said Michelle Lucey-Roper, director of the Learning Technologies Program. "FAS will use this grant to improve the game design for learning and encourage students to consider careers in bioscience, medicine and other health care professions."

FAS's interest in games emerged from research that shows advanced learning technologies, such as video games and computer simulations, can help address one of the nation's most pressing needs -- strengthening education and preparing workers for 21st century jobs.

Immune Attack builds on insights from FAS's Learning Science and Technology Research and Development Roadmap, the FAS report "Harnessing the Power of Video Games for Learning", and the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT) -- a proposal to transform learning and training for the 21st century. These recommendations led to the authorization of the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies.

FAS launched the prototype of Immune Attack in May 2008. Immune Attack was created by FAS in collaboration with teams of game developers, instructional designers, immunologists, teachers, and learning scientists including Brown University, the University of Southern California, and Escape Hatch Entertainment.

The ESA Foundation awarded nine different organizations $1 million in grants. The financial awards are intended to support the chosen organizations in developing youth-focused programs for education, health and safety.


Contact: Monica Amarelo
Federation of American Scientists

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