Game On!

Video Games

When ATETV launched its web program last year, our first Episode included a segment on the Simulation and Game Development Program at Wake Technical Community College, where we heard from a student who was coupling her love of video games with her scientific and medical interests to develop a simulation program to help people learn how to perform CPR.

Video simulation programs are widely used in the field of medicine, helping to train nurses, technicians and doctors. But as we’ve discovered, today’s video simulations are rapidly evolving to help users better understand a wide variety of the scientific and medical issues and challenges that we face today.

At the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, for example, the LA Times reports that computer-simulated “humans” are being created by groups of psychologists, engineers and scientists to help train military troops about post-traumatic stress disorder. These virtual soldiers are also helping real-life soldiers to transition back into civilian life.

Another example of a program looking at the issues of the day is “Inside the Haiti Earthquake,” a first-person simulation based on documentary footage from Haiti. The program is designed to help users to understand the perspective of three individuals – an earthquake survivor, aid worker, and journalist – and to deepen their understanding of the challenges and conflicts involved in each of the roles, and the complexity and difficulties of relief work in disaster situations. You can read more about this unique project in this interview with the Huffington Post.

Still another new video game helps players better understand global climate change. Called “Fate of the World,” this “global strategy game” enables players to decide how the world will “respond to rising temperatures, heaving populations, dwindling resources, and crumbling ecosystems….” As adviser Diana Liverman of the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment noted in an interview, “This [game] is another way to improve climate literacy….in order to destroy the world you would have to know a lot about climate change, emissions, world geography and politics and how they combine with other factors to create a catastrophe.”

If these examples have left you curious about a career in Simulation and Game Development, check out this special issue of Community College Week published last spring. There you can learn more about the industry, the job opportunities, and some of the community colleges where programs in Simulation and Game development are offered.

Game On!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply