I recently stumbled upon a press release from The Rochester Institute of Technology announcing plans to launch an interactive gaming experiment. It’s called the “Just Press Play” project and the goals are to engage “students more fully in activities that will improve their ability to manage the college experience and “give them a sense of accomplishment and progress along the path to their goal of graduation.”
This peaked my interest, and not just because the release references HERI data from The Freshman Survey (regarding students’ declining emotional health) in the first paragraph and again in their vision statement!
It seems pretty innovative to me—the idea of combining recreation (a high-minded sort) and education and appealing to students’ digital sensibilities. It’s described as an achievement based system that encourages student to think of the necessary obstacles in their path as part of a chosen narrative of their learning and professional development. “The game will be designed to help our ‘student heroes’ determine what tools they need in order to successfully navigate those obstacles,” according to the Think Play website.
I am having a hard time picturing what this game would look like. You could say I am a bit out of touch with the gaming world. I think the last game I played was “Wii Tennis” and before that it was “Super Nintendo Mario Brothers.” And so I have dated myself.
They stress the design is educational in nature, which may or may not go over well with college students. I suppose it all depends on how it’s executed. In any case, kudos to RIT for thinking outside the box. I will be following this project, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to do the same.
Check out: http://games.rit.edu/~thinkplay/