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Baltimore Schools To Incorporate Virtual Video Game Education

Baltimore County Public Schools plans to incorporate video game development education into its curriculum with the help of serious game applications, in collaboration with Learning Port Strategies.
Baltimore County Public Schools plans to incorporate video game development education into its curriculum with the help of serious game applications. Along with Learning Port strategies, the public school district has developed a program called L.i.V.E., or Learning in a Virtual Environment, which includes a "virtual high school" and a game development contest that will encourage students to create games based around topics related to science, technology, engineering, and math. Baltimore, Maryland-area schools hope that the program will both generate interest in the sciences and prepare students for technical careers later in their lives. "For more than a decade, health care organizations and the Department of Defense have used simulated games to train their professionals," said district superintendent Dr. Joe A. Hairston in a statement. “The next logical step is to introduce this combination of technology and training to middle and high school students, who already use computers and handheld devices an average of 38 hours per week to play games and talk with friends, to prepare them for college and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.” BCPS and Learning Port plan to introduce a "gamification boot camp" to educate teachers on the terminology and technology behind video games. The district is also organizing visits from existing video game and tech industry veterans, to help students create levels for their games based on the pitches submitted in the game contest. The announcement comes the day after the state of Maryland officially recognized local developer Firaxis by naming September 21, 2010 "Sid Meier's Civilization V Day."

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