Harvard Scholar Sees Games as the Future of Education

School kids may not have to hide their PSPs under their desks for much longer.

Recently, noted game designer Will Wright (The Sims, Spore) interviewed Harvard Professor Edward O. Wilson (left) on NPR’s Open Mic segment and asked if he saw a role for video games in the educational process. Here’s what Wilson had to say:

I’ll go to an even more radical position. I think games are the future in education. We’re going through a rapid transition now. We’re about to leave print textbooks behind. For example, I envision visits to different ecosystems that the student could actually enter – taking this path, going to that hill – with an instructor. That could be a rain forest, a tundra, or a Jurassic forest…


When children went out in Paleolithic times, they went with adults – they learned everything they needed to learn by participating in the process.

Wilson sees the virtual experiences of video games as a way to help motivate kids to go out and learn by having real experiences. Check out the whole audio interview right here.

Via: GoNintendo

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Senior Correspondent Andrew Eisen

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    AE: Please don’t prefix every post with three carriage returns.  Thanks.

  2. 0
    mdo7 says:



    Glad to see someone think video game can be helpful.  I wonder what the reaction from video game hating whistleblowers will say about this guy.


    "This guy happens to support Murder Simulator, quit mark him as Enemy of the state"


  3. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    You must have been playing the wrong games, ‘cos there are tons of games out there that can teach a lot.  Rome: Total War for example.  The Silent Hunter series, Flight Simulator, Chessmaster, The Political Machine.  I mean if anyone plays any of those games they’d have to work really hard at not picking up any learning.

    I’m not suggesting that these games are completely serious teaching tools, but the guy’s point is that games CAN be used to teach, and that’s certainly true.  In fact games teach better than any other method, which is why all animals (with the notable exception of humans, who seem to think that boring lectures are better) learn by playing.

    And by the way, Oregon Trail WAS intended to be educational.  The Wikipedia article on the game says "The game was inspired by the real-life Oregon Trail and was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the trail.".

  4. 0
    deuxhero says:

    I only learned anything that I recall from two games.

    Oregon Trail

    Mega Ten’s Demon/Persona Compendium. (The games were not even intended to educational!)

Leave a Reply