Educational DLC On The Way
Edutainment gets an awful rep these days, partly due to the godawful shoddy atrocities that we had to suffer through as kids. However, Sony has identified that the burgeoning gaming market - and LittleBigPlanet in particular - provides the perfect to actually get us to learn something. SCE boss Ray Maguire has confirmed a new educational DLC pack for LittleBigPlanet 2 that will teach kids elementary maths and science through its gameplay... and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It only does everything, after all.
Speaking to MCV, Sony Computer Entertainment's Ray Maguire has confirmed that specialist downloadable LBP2 content packs will teach science, engineering, maths and design concepts through its gameplay mechanics.
LittleBigPlanet is a game based around physics and within the game you can create your own level - millions do this already. We are going to be creating teacher packs where class teachers with a specialist subject knowledge in science, technology, engineering and maths - the stem subjects - create 'levels' with content aligned to their specific age range.
The pack will be a really useful way of starting to track and develop interest and involvement in games-based learning.
Maguire suggests that students could complete levels for homework, and that these DLC packs are set for a May release. However, it's just the start of a cynical marketing ploy learning initiative that could see PS3s being seen as a bona fide educational tool.
There is no reason why you can't play open standard educational content such as videos, audio and web-based lessons through a games console like the PlayStation. There is also increasing empirical evidence that games-based technologies, if used with curriculum-based content, raises student attainment, improves engagement and attendance.
He's probably right. [MCV]
We reckon that LBP2 should be a staple in the classroom even without these DLC packs. The level editor already grants us a comprehensive understanding of physics, mechanics and basic engineering without resorting to boring lessons, and we're convinced that this is a step in the right direction.