Former Minnesota governor wants college courses to be more like Call of Duty

Wouldn’t it be cool if you got to play videogames at home instead of attending lectures at a university? It sounds like the sort of idea a teenager might come up while daydreaming in the classroom. But the proposal favoring a remote learning system that favors interactive games over traditional lectures comes from former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

Speaking at Iowa State University, the possible Republican 2012 presidential candidate argued that technology, particularly videogames, could help improve the quality of education. “Let’s say you can scale the best Econ 101 lecture and not a lecture, not some guy standing in a room lecturing but let’s say it has all the sights and sounds and video and visual components of Call of Duty 3, but now it’s Econ 101. Or instead of learning about WW II, you’re fighting in WW II.”

Above: Well, if video games have taught us anything, it's that economic situations are just as exciting and riveting as a CoD online match

Pawlenty continued to argue that videogame-like distance learning could help defray the cost of higher education, citing the billions of dollars the University of Minnesota spent on its facilities and employees. He thinks the private sector could do a better with edutainment courses offered online.

But that doesn’t mean that Pawlenty thinks there’s no value to the traditional university experience because of the need for football teams and socialization. Yep, professional educators, scientists, important research, and a culture of learning can all be replaced by videogames, but football and drinking beer with your buds can't.

[Source: Des Moines RegisterFox News

Mar 10, 2011

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  • EnragedTortoise1 - March 10, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    Being a Minnes-oh-tan, I'm not sure whether I should be proud or slightly put off by this. I STOLE YOUR FIRST.
  • Vitreosity - March 10, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    I think I like this guy.
  • JohnnyMaverik - March 10, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    He wants college courses to be poorly designed lumps of faeces?
  • Brizee - March 10, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    Getting a bit carried away I do believe - I think there is a place for interactive graphical applications akin to games in a classroom it shouldn't replace a classroom.
  • PanzerDSS - March 10, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    While this sounds like a good idea, video games makers would also have to employ historians to make sure they could get the facts right. I think there is something to what he's saying, but things would have to be much more geared toward teaching vs. just making stuff awesome for gameplay purposes.
  • Fiirestorm21 - March 10, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    I think there's definitely a strong potential for educational video games if done right. It hardly needs to be so constrained as those that we are all immediately familiar with. As Panzer said, it's just a matter of mixing accuracy in with traditional gameplay. Not a difficult task for any competent game designer.
  • CitizenThom - March 10, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    It's not that ridicvulous an idea. To cite two personal examples, the dynasty warriors games allowed me to discover 'The Romance of the Three Kingdoms' and the movie '300' started me on a lot of classical studies and then into medieval studies. Entertainment mediums can be a great way to get people into their own personal research of a great number of topics. When I was in college, only half the professors were earning their salaries based on their level of knowledge and their ability to communicate it. Entertainment mediums could easily fill the gap.
  • Doctalen - March 10, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    If he can implement this idea, and do it well. He has my first presidential vote.
  • PixelScuba - March 10, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Minnesotan here... Tim Paulenty is a tool. Tim "No New Taxes" Paulenty spent years "not raising taxes" but was OK as long as they were called "Fees". Smoking "Fees" Food "Fees"... those are OK.. they're just FEES not TAXES! was also OK for local governments to raise local property taxes and force the burden of local government aid on Homeowners instead of spreading the burden to all taxpayers. Tim Paulenty is a liar. If something he says sounds too good to be true, it is. We'd would have gladly preferred another term of 'Professional Wrestler in chief' to this tool. This is just an example of... "Young people like Video Games, right? Let's tell them we want college to be like... what's a popular game? Call of Duty! Yeah, I need the 18-35 Demographic to vote for me because I want to run for president". Please, this man is a scumbag and should be treated as such... don't waste your vote on him.
  • jakab11 - March 10, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    woot Iowa State University! Just a mention but I'm just up the road so i had to mention it
  • Dreadnought - March 11, 2011 12:04 a.m.

    I know a lot about WWII weaponry and warfare, just from playing old Call of Duty games, lol.
  • Cobra_Fangs - March 11, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    like the idea of courses being like Cod but sitting at home doing this,,,i'm not with that
  • alphaman - March 11, 2011 12:23 a.m.

    I hope people realize that this just would feed in to an attempt to shortchange public colleges and eliminate funding that's already being cut short. You have to take his other policies and stances in mind with this, and while I doubt this weird idea is going to take down an institution that's been around since the middle ages, it's enlightening on his perception of educated people. I think games can provide information and entertainment at the same time of course, but this is kind of missing the whole point of playing a game vs sitting in a college class.
  • Jackelsburg - March 11, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    i support the idea of having video games in a learning environment mixed with the regular classes and stuff as i think it can work if they do it right, and there are probably some game companies out there (and maybe some new ones that form) that would be more than willing to make educational video games that are entertaining at the same time. as long as they dont start overcharging like they do for textbooks...
  • Vulneratus - March 11, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    Well at least you'd have a degree in a matter of hours :P
  • mentalityljs - March 11, 2011 12:49 a.m.

    Although it sounds like a cool idea, it also sounds like proposal to help out with his future political campaign. Also, i agree with Brizee. Physical presence in a classroom almost forces you to focus and pay attention. If you give students the option to learn in such a way at home, they will choose weather or not they feel like learning at that very moment. Curriculums should be scheduled tight and should be consistent to keep the students on course. What Mr. Pawlenty is proposing will only destructuralize education and make people more lazy then they already are. And lets not forget about the teachers and the bills they have to pay...
  • Sharkbot - March 11, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    Oh Thank God he wants the old CoDs.
  • mikeleponto - March 12, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    its true i mean most of the things ik is bc of videogames fpr example it tought me military terms and also how to play sports like football, soccer, and baseball.

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