The Future of Gaming: From Healthcare to PhD Programs
Could video games soon be a form of medical treatment, or a commonplace way of teaching a student about history? Once a niche hobby that garnered ridicule, video games have begun to see unexpected uses as they become more commonplace. While previously unthinkable, video games may soon see use from everything from aiding stroke victims to helping students earn a degree from an accredited online PhD program. While some critics have decried that such endeavors are simply game companies rebranding their products to increase profits, many researchers, programmers and politicians believe that video games may soon see limitless applications.
Although the idea of using video games for educational purposes isn’t a new one, it has certainly found difficulty gaining traction in public opinion. As school shootings began to rise, many parents began looking at video games as a cause of violence in adolescents. While many have come to dismiss these accusations as psychologically unfounded, the stigma still exists, leaving education and video games diametrically opposed. Constance Steinkuehler, a senior policy analyst of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, seeks to change that.
Continued on the next page
A three and half year veteran of World of Warcraft, Steinkuehler considers herself a veteran gamer, and has been using her expertise while researching exactly what makes a video game compelling and successful. In doing so, she believes that educators will soon find various, previously unconsidered uses for video games. Hoping that video games eventually will be able that both entertain and educate students on an assortment of subjects, Steinkuehler is currently creating “save-the-world” action games that she expects to be as engaging as anything a student would already be playing for fun.