Games and Design

Clive Thompson posted a great article on Wired today that looks at games as a means of teaching high-end technical skills.  The main focus of the article is the upcoming game Spoor, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the Sims, which will allow players to design their own lifeforms.  Thompson had the chance to demo it recently and sees the game as a means of “democratizing 3D design”, which I find really exciting.

Then he takes his argument one step further to analyze the skills sets that various games are capable of teaching.  The Sims is the world’s best CAD tutorial, World of Warcraft teaches online management skills, and any D&D game you could possibly mention can be used to make database management kind of fun.

But according to Thompson, what is even more important than the rudimentary skill set these games can teach is the basic understanding of how these things work.  Next time a young gamer goes to see the latest Pixar movie they will have a feel for how the movie was made, and maybe a few will say to themselves “I can do that”.

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