Step aside, MIT, there's a new geekiest school in town, and this one actually requires that you play Starcraft. The University of Florida is offering a course called "21st Century Skills in Starcraft," and it's only available to honors students. True story.
The course, which is part of the school's Interdisciplinary Studies program, is being taught by PhD candidate Natahniel Poling. He's also now known as the most awesome professor ever. Poling teaches his students "critical thinking, problem solving, resource management, and adaptive decision making" through the online game.
Above: What part of this doesn't just scream out "Interdisciplinary Studies?"
As one of the most heralded real-time strategy games of all time, Starcraft has proven its mettle to millions of gamers around the world. It is not a game for the faint of heart or for this newfangled casual gaming crowd. Being a master at Starcraft requires a helluva lot of strategy and critical thinking.
The course's official description states, "This course includes required weekly game play, viewing and analysis of recorded matches, written assignments which emphasize analysis and synthesis of real/game-world concepts, and collaboration with other students."
Above: The mind-bendingly captivating game Portal is also starting to become recognized by academia
Earlier this month, Wabash College in Indiana added the universally adored PC puzzle game Portal to its list of "required reading" for undergraduates. For all the mindless drivel they teach in classic film and literature classes, it's nice to see that the most technologically sophisticated entertainment medium of all time is finally getting some well-deserved mainstream academic cred.
That said, Poling's course is an online class and only worth two credits, so the university's still a long way from offering a Bachelor of Science in Starcraftology. But at least now you won't feel so guilty for spending your student loan money on a video game.
Aug 27, 2010
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