Schell Games Launches Virtual Reality Chemistry Lab Game 'HoloLAB Champions' on Steam

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STEM VR Game Avail­able Today, Free for Schools and Educators

PITTS­BURGH, Penn­syl­va­nia (July 10, 2018) — Schell Games, the devel­op­er behind the pop­u­lar and high­ly-acclaimed vir­tu­al real­i­ty game I Expect You To Die, today launched a VR chem­istry lab prac­tice game Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons on Steam. Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons trans­ports play­ers into a vir­tu­al game show where they learn real lab prac­tice skills to com­plete exper­i­ments with­in a vir­tu­al lab. Using chem­istry and edu­ca­tion­al experts for con­tent devel­op­ment and fund­ed in part by a SBIR grant from the Insti­tute of Edu­ca­tion Sci­ences at the U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons was iter­a­tive­ly devel­oped in part­ner­ship with stu­dents, edu­ca­tors, and RAND Corporation.

In a game show-style set­ting, Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons guides play­ers through a series of mini-labs that lead up to a final lab chal­lenge. Earl, the holo­graph­ic host, is a friend­ly com­men­ta­tor, armed with a fun sense of humor and a few eye-rolling sci­ence jokes. The cam­era-bot, Mey­er, is his irrev­er­ent side­kick. Play­ers score achieve­ments based on their abil­i­ty to per­form tasks safe­ly and accu­rate­ly. Those who com­plete an event are award­ed an ele­men­tal tro­phy and can take their place among the famed Hall of Brains. There is also a Prac­tice Mode avail­able, where play­ers can hone their skills to pre­pare for the main event challenges.

Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons is impor­tant because it teach­es stu­dents about sci­ence and lab safe­ty in an envi­ron­ment that is both edu­ca­tion­al and engag­ing,” said Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games. Vir­tu­al real­i­ty is still a new and rel­a­tive­ly untapped space so we are excit­ed to see it being used in class­room set­tings. We look for­ward to gaug­ing its effects on learn­ing out­comes and stu­dent engage­ment in the future.”

As a com­pan­ion tool to an in-per­son high school chem­istry lab expe­ri­ence, Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons has two, 30 — 40 minute episodes to teach play­ers basic lab skills, pro­ce­dures, and pro­to­cols. The first episode is Chemi­lu­mi­nes­cence, where stu­dents need to mix cor­rect amounts of liq­uid and sol­id ingre­di­ents to cre­ate a glow­ing chem­i­cal solu­tion. The sec­ond episode, Iden­ti­fy Unknowns, presents stu­dents with a set of sub­stances and, with lim­it­ed ref­er­ence infor­ma­tion, play­ers must cor­rect­ly iden­ti­fy each substance.

Teach­ers and stu­dents expressed a lot of enthu­si­asm when they tried ear­ly pro­to­types and offered their feed­back,” report­ed John Pane, edu­ca­tion tech­nol­o­gy researcher at the RAND Cor­po­ra­tion, whose team served as eval­u­a­tion part­ner dur­ing the game’s devel­op­ment. They see Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons as an engag­ing and inven­tive way for stu­dents to learn the basics of lab practice.”

With a few excep­tions,​typ­i­cal​class­rooms haven’t changed much since our par­ents were in school,” said Dr. Brooke Mor­rill, Direc­tor of Edu­ca­tion at Schell Games.​“As tech­nol­o­gy​becomes​more pow­er­ful and​a larg­er part of our every­day lives,​sup­port­ing class­rooms​in​har­ness­ing unique, effec­tive tools to meet the needs of today’s students​is essential​. With Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons, we are offer­ing an inno­v­a­tive way for stu­dents to learn the basics of lab prac­tice while also pro­vid­ing edu­ca­tors with​resource​s for incor­po­rat­ing this game into their classrooms.”

While Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons is a sin­gle play­er game aimed at stu­dents aged 14 to 18, it is designed to be used in a group set­ting in the class­room, with one stu­dent play­ing the game, while observ­ing stu­dents are pro­vid­ing assis­tance and tak­ing notes and a teacher is giv­ing guid­ance and feed­back. Sup­port­ing doc­u­ments such a Class­room Guide will help edu­ca­tors inte­grate the game into their class­room and guide stu­dents through the labs. Teach­ers who imple­ment Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons will have the added ben­e­fit of safe­ty, since they won’t need to wor­ry about spills, break­ages, or poten­tial injuries that some­times occur in real lab settings.

Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons is free for edu­ca­tion­al instruc­tors, stu­dents, and facil­i­ties. For edu­ca­tion­al copies, please vis­it the For Edu­ca­tors page at HoloLABChampions.com and sub­mit the request­ed information.

While Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons has a prac­ti­cal edu­ca­tion­al pur­pose, the game can also be enjoyed by VR enthu­si­asts and peo­ple inter­est­ed in sci­ence and chem­istry. It is avail­able for $9.99 on Steam with a 20 per­cent dis­count dur­ing launch week. The game was designed for use with the HTC Vive.

More infor­ma­tion is avail­able at HoloLABChampions.com. Assets are avail­able here.

Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons Steam Trail­er
Holo­LAB Cham­pi­ons
Edu­ca­tors Edi­tion Trail­er

Steam Page

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About Schell Games

Schell Games is the largest full-ser­vice edu­ca­tion­al and enter­tain­ment game devel­op­ment com­pa­ny in the Unit­ed States. Found­ed in 2002 by game design­er and award-win­ning author Jesse Schell, the stu­dio her­alds a high­ly tal­ent­ed array of artists, pro­gram­mers, pro­duc­ers, and game design­ers. Schell Games spe­cial­izes in cre­at­ing mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences through mobile, VR/AR, PC, con­sole, hand­held, online and social games; inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ences and theme park attrac­tions; con­nect­ed toys and vir­tu­al worlds. The com­pa­ny counts some of the world’s most respect­ed brands as clients, such as The Walt Dis­ney Com­pa­ny, Google, Face­book, Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, Sea­World Parks and Enter­tain­ment, and The Fred Rogers Com­pa­ny. For more infor­ma­tion on Schell Games, vis­it http://www.schellgames.com or con­tact us at info@schellgames.com.

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