Apparently StarCraft is getting some love at the university level. According to Kotaku, the University of Florida is using the real time strategy game to teach its students resource management skills. Before any of you slackers get excited (me included), the class featuring SC is only open to students in the honors college who have some familiarity with the game.
Taught by Nate Poling, a Ph.D candidate at UF, the class description reads, “With society becoming increasingly technology-based and fast-paced, it is important for professionals to be highly proficient in skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making. These skills are fundamental in Starcraft and therefore make the game a highly effective environment for students to analyze and take action in complex situations.”
In a recent interview with MIT’s Technology Review, Poling stated, “A student who gets a normal education, gets an MBA, and is in the business world, he could realize that something he learned in his StarCraft course helps him think outside of the box. You synthesize this with an MBA program and voila – you have an innovative business practice.”
I should state that UF isn’t the first college to include StarCraft into its curriculum. A few years ago California-Berkeley’s renowned Haas School of Business offered a course on competitive Starcraft.
Personally, I think this is a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately for me, Ohio State doesn’t really offer that many avant garde classes. The closest things I’ve heard to something like this comes from my brother. When he was going to Hamilton College he told me that his roommate, who was majoring in history, had to lead a class discussion on Medieval Total War. While that’s pretty cool, it’s no StarCraft 101.
What do you guys think about this? Does your school offer anything remotely close to a class on StarCraft? How about other videogames? On a related note, what games do you think would be great for higher education purposes?