UK Devs Talk Game Education Issues

A number of developers at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in London spoke today on the use of games as educational tools, the current state of game development courses, and more.
A number of developers at the Learning Without Frontiers conference in London spoke today on the use of games in educational settings, as well as the development of game development courses for universities. Sony UK boss Ray Maguire urged developers, educators, and the government to work together to devise programs that use games as educational tools, reports [registration required]. "We shouldn't wait too much longer. A collaborative effort is absolutely required, it needs endorsement at the highest level, it needs someone in government to say we will do this," said Maguire. Maguire noted that educational programs should explicitly support game development as a valid career path, and said Sony is "doing work with government" to implement game design courses in universities. Elite creator and Frontier Developments founder David Braben also spoke out on the current state of game education, noting the problems with current ICT courses. "Every kid I talk to says ICT is dull. They hate it. The majority is learning how to use certain MS tools and how to find the on and off switch," explained Branben. He instead encouraged educators to devise programs that taught programming skills and their uses in the real world. Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton took a more conservative stance on implementing games in the classroom, acknowledging the use of Wii and DS in certain classrooms and programs, but pointing out, "We do not make products designed for education."

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