Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Learning in non-educational video games?

OK, so there's been a recent push for "brain" games filled with cheesy memory puzzles and piles of sudoku. But beyond those, your "learning games" have been limited to trivia style games or elementary school supplements like Reader Rabbit or Jump Start programs.

Well, this article points out a few other learning techniques employed in sports games. I admit I had thought about the semi-learning aspects of games like sim-city where you manage economies and deal with disaster cleanup/prevention. This article expands that same sort of "learning" to the franchise management aspects of sports titles and I can see the argument...the franchise aspects of these games are getting increasingly complex so that your dealings can be more in depth than simple money and time management.

The part that really surprised me though was the integration of actual SCHOOL WORK into the collegiate sports game. The concept is that you build up your player and get him good sports stats, but you also have to maintain a good GPA and on-campus reputation. The "classwork" consists of multiple choice tests based on actual class subject material presented throughout the season/semester...and if the GPA falls low enough, it sounds like the player is put on suspension until you bring his grades back up.

A very intringuing concept...I wonder how well it will catch on and if we will see more of this in the future. Perhaps the next shooters will integrate a post-op briefing where you have to justify your actions to your superior officer and if you disregarded rules of combat with too much needless killing, you'd be reprimanded or forced to do some training or something. Maybe you'll have to actually undergo some minimal foreign language training prior to an overseas mission. Games are about escapism...but if they want to make them "more real" in terms of blood and violence, why not add in the realistic consequences that go along with it?

OK, so I totally spun off tangentially on that last paragraph...basically I figured I'd point out this interesting article pointing out a new education push in video games.

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