Posted by: crudbasher | April 17, 2012

Educational Implications of Next Generation Video Game Graphics

If you are making a video game, you are faced with a choice right off the bat. Do you write all the code from scratch, or do you purchase an “engine” to jump start your development? A video game engine is a toolkit that has all sorts of code and tools already written. It can save a game company several years of development (and therefore lots of money). There are many game engines out there but one of the best in the world is called the Cryengine. It’s made by a German company and is used in a few very high end games. Here is a demo video they just released showing the features on their next generation game engine.

Wow that is very impressive! As a point of comparison, here is Super Mario 64, which came out in 1996.

What you are seeing is the speed and power increase of computers. All of this allows much better realism for simulations.

There is a learning theory called Constructivism. It means learning from experiencing things and being able to experiment. You then “construct” your own learning outcomes from the results. Hundreds of years ago most learning happened this way. It was especially pronounced in the apprenticeship model of learning. An apprentice watched what the master was doing and then did it themselves.

When education was placed into the mass-factory school model, most learning became theoretical and somehow detached from reality. This new realistic video game technology will allow simulations to be run in the classroom so students can learn from experience. In some ways it won’t be as good as reality, but in others it will be better because it will allow students to try simulations that might be dangerous. Pilots do this all the time in flight simulators so why shouldn’t students have access to the same technology? With this new generation of video game graphics, they will.




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