Think Tank Demands More Games in UK Schools
When the subject of gaming crops up in most think tanks or even talk shows, the end result is almost always some alarmist tripe (usually along the lines of "videogames cause violence/cancer/broken homes/hell portals to open up and devour our rosy-cheeked youth")- but not this time. Non-governmental lobby group Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE for short) has called for games to play a greater part in schools' IT curriculum.
The latest CIHE report states that the current IT teaching methods are antiquated and inadequate- and that adding interactive elements or even game design/coding lessons would bring the curriculum up to a 21st century standard. What's more, the report purports that the UK's ICT training is vastly lagging behind that of China, Japan and the United States.
"By supporting the integration of creative and digital elements in the curriculum, schools can provide a more effective pipeline of talent to Higher Education and employment.
Clearly children are interested in computer games, and we want them to be taught the computing principles and hard maths and science that are behind the games."
"At the moment ICT is just a box-ticking exercise." - Dr David Docherty, CIHE
Considering that UK game development has historically been an extremely proud and productive part of our digital economy, I personally applaud this latest effort to create a next-gen IT curriculum. [Gamesindustry]
Should games play a greater role in IT lessons... or even across the whole timetable? Should we be raising a whole new generation of budding game developers? Have your say in the comments!
Lucasarts Admits: We Weren't "Up To Speed" on the PS3
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was a fun and capable action game, but the PS3 version suffered from odd graphical problems that stopped it realising its potential and taking full advantage of the hardware. Many PS3 gamers were outraged by the loss in performance compared to the Xbox 360 version- and Lucasarts would be the first to admit that there were a few hiccups.
"For me I think I like putting builds on the 360, it's a lot faster,"
"There were times, especially on the original Force Unleashed, where on the PS3, we weren't quite up to speed. But now I think [360 and PS3 are] so hand in hand that every change we make is tested on both at the same time, side-by-side throughout the whole thing."- LucasArts producer Cameron Suey
We're glad to hear that development can now continue in tandem and that both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners will be able t0 enjoy the same quality build... though Sony only have themselves to blame for the catchup time suffered by several third party studios. Now we're back on track- and psyched for the Star Wars sequel. [CVG]
Matt was able to get to grips with the Force Unleased II at Gamescom. Why not check out the hands-on preview?
Firefall Gameplay Trailer Slings Guns, Shades Cells
Our coverage of Duke Nukem Forever and Gearbox's unfortunately caused Firefall t0 slip under our radar, but allow me to rectify this glaring omission. Former Blizzard Lead Designer Mark Kern and Tribes designer Scott Youngblood have cooked up a class-based multiplayer experience with a distinct cell shaded style. Imagine Starship Troopers mixed with Starcraft... and tribes... and Borderlands... and awesome.
Best of all, it's free to play- making this another half news story/half deal in its own right.
We'll let you know when we hear anything about the pricing structure or microtransations before the "late 2011" release date... but for now, enjoy some new gameplay footage. [Firefall The Game]
To honour Mario's pending 25th anniversary, Nintendo have pushed out all the stops and trademarked a reverential new... logo. Enjoy.