From simulating cities to recreating Civil War era characters, games are becoming classroom fixtures.
All work and no play is said to make Johnny a dull boy. But the proliferation of educational video games–what professors and game industry professionals call ‘serious’ games–in college and graduate school classrooms and on campus suggests work and play can occur simultaneously.
Several hundred college students at Rochester Institute of Technology, for example, recently participated in a pilot program of the game Just Press Play, which encourages them to collect business cards from all of the professors in their departments and explore the campus.
“By creating a whimsical, playful, game-like experience … that frames [acclimating to campus] in a much less threatening and much more inviting way for people that are going through some pretty massive transitions,” says Andy Phelps, the director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media.