The Chicago Tribune recently published an expose on the efforts of David Williamson Shaffer, an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a long and accredited background
in education. Shaffer is pushing to use video games as a means of teaching kids new specializations, as opposed to enhancing currently-covered curriculum (e.g., Math Blasters
Shaffer, who just released a book How Computer Games Help Children Learn
, argues that we should utilize interactive entertainment to better prepare children for the real world. "We already choose to have our kids think like historians [in history class]," he said, "or like cartoon scientists ... In thinking like a journalist or an urban planner or a lawyer in society, you prepare kids to enter the workforce as more prepared citizens."
We await the day where our descendants enjoy a round of Mario Teaches Electrical Engineering.
Our coverage of the Serious Game Summit 2006
[Update 1: It's Shaffer, not Shaffen -- I used both. Sorry for the confusion.]