The games company behind the latest Wii sensation We Love Golf game has asked a leading academic to develop ideas and techniques to embed subliminal lessons about physics and maths in game play.
Nipan Maniar - the University of Portsmouth academic who is famous for developing the cultural awareness game ‘C-Shock’ – will work with games company Capcom to develop subliminal mind programming techniques in the architecture of video games to provide structured learning environments that players won't be consciously aware of; and in subject areas many students find hard to understand.
Mr Maniar said: "The power of games as a learning tool is the great untapped education resource of our time. I expect many other games companies will get on board when they see the obvious benefits to society of using games as one more tool to educate our young people."
Capcom initiated the collaboration after trial testing of the new Capcom game We Love Golf (for Wii) revealed how seemingly complex calculations about ball flight, trajectory and distance became markedly easier the more the game was played.
The game requires players to make running calculations on wind, surface and wind speed to determine how hard to hit the golf ball. The calculations are never the same - every time the game is played is a new experience.
"We set up a special Games Education Projects team to take a closer look at this idea of using games like We Love Golf as learning environments, and to explore the idea of seamless learning between game play and old fashioned subjects that many kids hate - maths, physics and trigonometry," Rhys Cash, Capcom's Research Manager said.
"The idea is to get people playing games thinking they are a champion golfer, but Einstein and Newton are lurking in the background sending useful and important messages to the subconscious where they can be stored and remembered and, hopefully, applied in other areas of life," Mr Cash added.
Mr Maniar said that most people learn much more quickly and easily by seeing, rather than by hearing.
"It makes perfect sense to take the seeing and make it part of the doing in a game play environment. The possibilities to use technology in this way are very exciting for anyone who has an interest in education, teaching and learning," he said.
We Love Golf will be released on July 4, 2008.
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