Education Through Video Games

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Kotaku recently reported, that UC Berkeley has started a StarCraft 101 class, for general credits. The University describes the course as the following.

” UC Berkeley students with an interest in real-time strategy games and the competitive gaming landscape are encouraged to participate in this class.

This course will go in-depth in the theory of how war is conducted within the confines of the game Starcraft. There will be lecture on various aspects of the game, from the viewpoint of pure theory to the more computational aspects of how exactly battles are conducted. Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course. Furthermore, the class will take the theoretical into the practical world by analyzing games and replays to reinforce decision-making skills and advanced Starcraft theory.

Class will start with lecture and usually include a special discussion topic having to do with the day’s lecture to inspire new and original thought. At the end of lecture, there may be time to analyze student-submitted replays to illustrate a point or to improve analysis. Homework will be assigned at the end of each class and is due at the beginning of each lecture.

Personally I feel that this course is a great step in the right direction, and this will hopefully silence some critics who think gamers are dumb and unintelligent. I must give kudos to UC Berkeley for these general credit courses, they even have one called Batman as American mythology.

What games do you think could also be used in a educational setting? For me I think Spore would be a great tool to show the basics on how organisms transform and civilizations progress. Please leave a comment with a game you think could be used in a educational setting.

Cheers, Spencer Thompson

StarCraft 101

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