University of Iowa Adds Video-Game Related Journalism Course

Students who enroll in a new video game-based narrative writing course at the University of Iowa beginning in the fall will get a chance to explore worlds, characters and plotlines popularized by video games. They'll also get credits. The course is called "Specialized Reporting & Writing, Video Games & Communication," and is a step by the university to add video games into the curriculum, though video-game education experts say that analyzing off-the-shelf commercial games isn't the typical approach taken by universities.

In addition to showing the creativity of interactive entertainment, UI officials said that using video games allows students to learn about how societies in different cultures determine social issues, how they approach problems, emotions and morality, and how we recreate the world.

Moody said that the growing video game industry in the state was one reason why the university decided to add the course. According to data from ESA, there are four interactive entertainment-software locations in Iowa that employ around 457 workers.

"There's a big video-game industry out there that has a really active audience," said Julie Andsager, a UI journalism professor and the director of the UI Media Research Lab. "[People] are reading stories about video games and publications — the more our students can learn how to write for that market, the better."

Moody hopes this new course using video games in the classroom will be successful.

"Hopefully, we'll see other classes integrate video games in a smart way and an extension of education done correctly," Moody said. "I've always thought of video games as a site for learning."

Source: Daily Iowan

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