STEM: Gaming in Education
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North Carolina State University
Friday Institute
North Carolina State University - College of Education



Education and Gaming
A Powerful Combination
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With the great emergence of technology over the past century have come new ways of life. The world moves at a faster pace and it is up to the future generations to be able to keep up. One way we believe this task can be accomplished is through teaching technology throughout a child’s school years. The catch is keeping students interested in learning with all the other distractions of daily life. While some students are more than capable of learning, others, be it by choice, or consequence, may have a harder time. So why not use a medium that the children are familiar with... Computer Games.
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The computer game industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and is one of the main forces which drive the creation of many new technologies today. Since the creation of the first computer game, sometime around 1952, the world has not been able to look away. Something about delving into a fantasy world filled with dragons, playing as our favorite athlete, or solving intricate puzzles, fascinates us. While it has long been known that using games for educational purposes is beneficial, there are very few initiatives that deal with allowing students to design and build the game all the while helping to "teach themselves" the subject at hand.

For instance it may be easier for a student to research how the white blood cells in their body fight off disease if he/she is concentrating on using the material learned to create a scrolling shooter game, in which he/she can take control of these disease fighting heroes. As opposed to reading books and writing the standard report, or taking a standardized test. This process not only exposes the student to the subject which the game deals with, but also the many areas which are involved in the game creation process.

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These areas deal with the technical issues brought about by working with the hardware and software, the artistic appeal of creating a 3D character and texturing it to look lifelike, and if possible learning a little computer programming to control the physics and artificial intelligence associated with the game. As stated the computer game industry drives much of the new technology created today, and what better way to become familiarized with technology than using it.




Site Updated : May 28, 2006

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