9AM – Playstation. 10AM – Xbox. 11AM – Wii. How’s that for a Monday morning at school?
The call to bring videogaming into schools comes from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), whose report warns the UK risks falling behind in the gaming development industry.
There is lack of focus on videogaming and visual effects in the education system, according to the report, which claims wide-reaching changes are needed in the way computer sciences are taught in schools. Currently, most schools focus on basic information technology communication, ignoring the innovative side of technology and the visual effects skills required for games development.
The NESTA report wants to see computer science brought into the national curriculum, in order to prevent gaming from becoming a niche industry reserved for ‘tecchies’ when it in fact can be a very creative discipline.
Videogaming could also be used to encourage kids to take up subjects often perceived as boring, the report suggests, pointing out that the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) could become ‘cool’ if children were taught through games.
‘Greater awareness of the technical needs of the video games and visual effects industries will itself make STEM subjects more attractive for some young people,’ according to the report’s authors, Ian Livingstone, life president of Square Enix, and Alex Hope, managing director of VFX company Double Negative.