Today's 'The Esoteric Beat,' regular columnist Jim Rossignol's look at the esoteric side of game design, examines two unique and, dare we say it, esoteric approaches to Neverwinter Night
mods, in both an educational and a "dungeon master" sense.
In the following extract, Rossignol responds to recent efforts by University of Minnesota Professor Kathleen Hansen to use the game as an educational tool:
As more of this kind of material is gathered it could become clearer as to how games actually function as funnels of information. There's so much we don't yet know about how games work that holding them up as paragons of interactivity, multi-tasking and educational potential is still a risky business. But with so many people becoming uncomfortable with tradition models of education, could the likes of Hansen actually be inventing a new medium to supplement and patch up holes in the traditional pen and paper model of teaching? I hope so, although if I catch my kids playing videogames when they should be doing their trigonometry there's going to be trouble.
You can read the full Gamasutra column
, including further theories on the future of MMOs (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).