Sony Wants Games in Education, like, Now

The Learning Without Frontiers conference (a name I can’t claim to really understand) took place this week in London, and a not-insignificant gaming presence was in attendance, with both the Sony UK and Nintendo UK bosses there as speakers.

The Nintendo guy, David Yarnton, didn’t seem all that enthusiastic about this whole education thing as he said things like, “We do not produce products designed for education.” That may be true, generally, of both Nintendo and Sony, but that didn’t keep Sony’s Ray Maguire going nuts on the topic of gaming in education.

“The time is right now to do it,” Maguire said, as reported by GI.biz. “We shouldn’t wait too much longer. A collaborative effort is absolutely required, it needs endorsement at the highest level, it needs someone in government to say we will do this.”

He said Sony has already been putting together curriculum packs that features LittleBigPlanet and the PSP and Move. Furthermore, he wants game development to be presented to children as a legitimate career option.

“There has to be a public and private partnership,” Maguire said. “Promote digital content creation as a career choice – it shouldn’t’ be ‘I want to be a doctor or a lawyer’, it should be ‘I want to be game designer’ as well.”

There are interesting possibilities to including games in education curriculum, but even more important than that is that last point there. One of the bigger problems in gaming now is how insular it is; we need a larger variety of people working in the industry. The situation isn’t as bad as it has been (see: Naughty Dog, Ninja Theory, Remedy) but for the most part gaming is still an uncreative nerd hegemony, and it’s rare that you see truly new ideas in a game, which is a problem for a medium, like gaming, still in its infancy.

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