U.K.'s Secretary of Education Sees "Huge Potential" for PC Games in Classrooms

Paul Lilly

Forget about the (flawed) notion that violence in videogames is turning happy-go-lucky school kids into raging adults trained to go postal after reading one too many TPS reports. At least one educator sees some value in PC games, that bloke being Michael Gove, U.K.'s secretary of state for education. He's okay with children shooting up aliens, so long as the ultimate goal is to solve a math problem.

"When children need to solve equations in order to get more ammo to shoot aliens, it is amazing how quickly they can learn," Gove said in a speech to the Royal Society in London last week, according to Edge magazine . "I am sure that this field of educational games has huge potential for math and science teaching and I know that Marcus [du Sautoy, professor of mathematics at Oxford University and an advisor to math games website Manga High] has been thinking about how he might be able to create games to introduce advanced concepts to children at a much earlier age."

Other than a brief mention of disposing aliens with some type of ammo, Gove didn't really get into the topic of violence in videogames and how much he'd be willing to tolerate in the name of science and math. We're willing to bet something like Math Blaster would qualify, but we don't' suspect Gove would back Duke Nukem teaching math using dollar bills in a strip club.

In any event, Gove pointed to a "need to change curricula, tests, and teaching to keep up with technology... The new environment of teaching schools will be a fertile ecosystem for experimenting and spreading successful ideas rapidly through the system."

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