A new learning lab will research and develop compelling video games that engage students in innovative ways and provide data on students comprehension of the core skills deemed critical by states for college and the 21st century workplace. Announced today at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab GLASS Lab, is a project of the Institute of Play, a non-profit video game, learning and research organization, with support from MacArthur, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Electronic Arts, and the Entertainment Software Association.
The Rochester Institute of Technology has launched one of the first betas that promises to gamify undergraduate education in a comprehensive way. The initiative’s called “Just Press Play,” and besides having an impressive assemblage of academics, designers, and artists working on the project, they received funding from Microsoft Research Connections to kick the project off.
They have a trailer. Here it is:
I have to say, I am a little worried about what kind of reaction that trailer will generate from students — mostly because I couldn’t figure out what the video was talking about. Warring factions + the need to strike a balance = rock climbing? And all of this is linked to a gamed-up education. Exactly … how? And this is coming from a lifelong gamer who hopes to transform postsecondary learning through education.
RIT’s heart is definitely in the right place, and it seems to have the team, the institutional support, and the outside funding to take a legitimate shot and creating a great user experience. Furthermore, they want to release their tools as open source, for which I for one am infinitely grateful. So please, RIT, know that I am speaking to you as an ally and supporter when I say this: you need a better trailer.