This is such an awesome concept, finally education has caught on that strategy games might actually be useful as a learning tool. Imagine having a daily Starcraft session as a subject to help you understand strategy, pacing and teamwork. I would definitely send my kids to a school that saw the benefits of teaching strategy gaming (as well as outdoor sports) in order to help them improve their thinking and ability to make rational decisions.
StarCraft, a real-time strategy game from Blizzard Entertainment, has been labeled the chess of the 21st century. Cognitive scientists are using it to study memory, decision-making, and motor skills. Marrying strategic problem-solving with fast reflexes has made players experts in a game that takes years to master. The sheer pursuit of expertise drives many players to practice obsessively–and to share what they know with others. Because of this, StarCraft feels like a game supported not only by the company that developed it, but also by a community of learners intent on leveling up their collective expertise.
For educators in the 21st century, online communities like those that have grown up around StarCraft offer exciting models of peer-based learning environments. Players can move at their own pace, take advantage of a diverse set of resources created by other players, and contribute their own knowledge and expertise back to the group. And perhaps most importantly, they have access to experts like Plott who share their talents for free. “StarCraft is a space of inquiry in which to test yourself,” he says. “It is all about asking, ‘What works here?’ How cool is that?”