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White House Investigating Benefits Of Games

| 2 Feb 2012 00:30
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Obama may not be a fan of giving kids unrestricted access to games, but his administration is looking at using them to make the world a better place.

It's no secret that - aside from keeping us all entertained - videogames can make great teaching tools. Examples of this include a game that was actually successful at teaching kids math skills and one that taught young women how to avoid being pressured into sex, but it sounds like a great deal more of them are on the horizon. Why? Because the White House is interested in getting various agencies using games for educational purposes.

Constance Steinkuehler is a former MMO guild leader turned senior policy analyst who works for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Steinkuehler's job requires her to study games and figure out how the Obama Administration can make use of games that improve health, education, the environment, and many other fields. In a recent USA Today feature, she says that her position represents, "an incredible opportunity to make good on the claim that games have real promise."

While Obama has gone on the record as being against parents who give their kids unlimited TV/game time, he's also gone on record as stating he wants to see educational software that's just as good as AAA games. As a result, Steinkuhler is juggling a bevy of tasks, from researching which agencies already use games to helping develop "big, save-the-world games."

From the sound of the article, Steinkuhler's research seems like it's starting to come to fruition. Shortly after arriving in Washington, the woman had "'a really mobilized group' to coordinate the government's gaming portfolio." We'll just have to wait and see how it all winds up paying off.

Source: USA Today

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