I used to teach about Video Games. I also like Star Wars (the original trilogy thank you). One of the big challenges facing every teacher is how to interest kids in learning things they don’t want to learn. I have suggested that using advanced simulation techniques can help interest them in learning a lot more than a textbook or video would do.
Behold! Star Wars Battlefront
Just wow! This game is not being released till the end of the year but dang is that amazing looking! So imagine you can take that same quality and use it to craft learning experiences. Imagine sailing a Spanish Galleon, or searching the Amazon Rain Forest for a particular type of insect! Or, imagine playing a Star Wars game where you have to search for something or do some sort of learning puzzle. For example, maybe you have to solve a physics puzzle to repair your ship?
We are on the cusp of this becoming practical. The biggest obstacle right now is actually the cost of development, which is substantial. I think we will have more luck if we can develop games like this using an interface similar to Minecraft. I’ve seen little kids make elaborate Minecraft levels with no programming experience at all.
When you couple graphics like this with Virtual Reality, the implications for education will be profound.
I can’t wait. 🙂