President Obama Directs White House Office to Study the Education & Skills Development Potential of Video Gaming

Designing Digitally


We were pretty excited when we learned about the initiative being pursued at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy by Constance Steinkuehler, a senior policy analyst there with several advanced degrees who has received her orders directly from President Obama himself. It seems our President is aware that entire generations are now growing up schooled in the use of video gaming, and that there is much potential for using the medium for education and training. Or, as Mr. Obama said himself to Tech Boston Academy students in March of 2011, “I want you guys to be stuck on a videogame that's teaching you something, other than just blowing something up.”

In a very recent NPR story and podcast about video games and learning, it was revealed that the White House is studying the benefits of video games on those who play them, and ways that video games can be taken to the next level in terms of helping players to become more physically fit, for example, or for developing innovation through scientific crowd-sourcing projects using the video gaming model. This is quite stimulating stuff, because it’s exactly where Designing Digitally is working in the areas of eLearning and 3D training simulations for various industries and agencies. We guess that makes us technological visionaries!

Video Games to 3D Training Simulations to Skills Development & New Scientific Discoveries

As Ms. Steinkuehler explains in the NPR interview, the initial research was focused on how the violent themes in video games might be affecting players, and how the minimal findings in that direction morphed the project into more positive directions on video gaming and its potential uses in fitness, education, problem-solving skills development & collaborative innovation. She found herself transfixed by the potential skills development possibilities that were inherent in many game systems:

“And then that was the first time I downloaded a videogame. And the first game I downloaded was a game called "Lineage," by NCsoft. And at that point, after spending about a week watching people do tasks far beyond the level of sophistication that we would have asked them to do in our spaces and realizing that they were not only there voluntarily, they were paying to be there, I realized there's something here that we have to understand. So I dropped everything I was doing and switched gears and have studied games ever since . . . well, let me back up and say, you know, our federal investments in games have been going on since long before the Obama administration. You know, many of those games started off especially in the military space, around military training and simulations.”

So the bottom line is that even the White House is recognizing the educational and training potential that resides within the interactive online model used for gaming, which we at Designing Digitally work to turn into eLearning applications and 3D training simulations for many types of industries across the board. As more and more companies and industries become aware of the efficiencies inherent in online 3D interactive simulations and eLearning, expect to hear more from us about this exciting area of design and development.

If you’re already on-board with the future of training and education, feel free to request a free quote from Designing Digitally, Inc. and let’s see what we can do for your company’s needs.

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