Gaming, Semiconductors and the 21st Century Classroom

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014, 3:00pm

by Semiconductor Industry Association

Earlier this week we teamed up with AMD and the Entertainment Software Association to demonstrate to Members of Congress and their staffs how gaming is advancing STEM education. Showcasing the advancements in gaming turned out to be a hit with congressional staff, in part because they got to play this game on a huge screen!

What was evident to me during the briefing was that our nation’s classrooms still have a long way to go in terms of embracing technology in order to help develop the next generation of American STEM graduates, but gaming can help. While traditionally associated with entertainment purposes only, gaming can really capture the hearts and minds of students and propel them into a career in a STEM field.  When students play education and skill based games, they are picking up new skills that translate into better classroom work and learning.  What is even more compelling is that by engaging students in the actual design of the games, they are taking that learning to a new level – building skills in critical thinking, systems thinking, creative design and media literacy, all of which will translate into the STEM jobs of the future.

AMD figured this out and launched Changing the Game, which is a program designed to take gaming beyond entertainment and inspire youth to learn. Here is a video on the program and its sizeable impact on education to date. AMD is also part of a consortium of groups that have come together to champion the initiative by launching the National STEM Video Game Challenge.

Today there are 385 colleges, universities, and art and trade schools across the country that offer courses, professional certificates, or undergraduate/graduate degrees in video game design, development, and programming. Recently, the Princeton Review has started ranking and reporting on the top undergrad and graduate schools with video game design programs.  There can be no doubt that gaming as a career path is gaining ground and that gaming and the graphic interfaces that are developed through gaming have become a significant component to the technology and education ecosystem.