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Gaming: A Technology Forecast

Gaming: A Technology Forecast


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Published by TSTC Publishing
Full text of the technology forecast produced by Texas State Technical College Emerging Technologies. Bound hard copies available from TSTC Publishing at http://shop.tstc.edu.
Full text of the technology forecast produced by Texas State Technical College Emerging Technologies. Bound hard copies available from TSTC Publishing at http://shop.tstc.edu.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: TSTC Publishing on Apr 16, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Workers with transdisciplinary skills are needed in government, military, industry, and
academia (World Technology Evaluation Center; Turpin, 2000; Stanford University, 2002; Arts
and Humanities Research Board; Daly, Farley, Thomson, 2001; MST News, 2003; World
Technology Evaluation Center; Office of Scientific and Technical Information, 2002; TANSEI,
2002; De Marca, Gelman; Carty, 1998; Nanotechnology Research Institute). To meet the needs
and challenges of modern science, industry and private sector leaders are calling for a
revolution in teaching.

“Half a millennium ago, Renaissance leaders were masters of several fields
simultaneously. Today, however, specialization has splintered the arts and engineering,
and no one can master more than a tiny fragment of human creativity. The sciences have
reached a watershed at which they must combine if they are to continue to advance
rapidly. Convergence of the sciences can initiate a new renaissance, embodying a holistic
view of technology based on transformative tools, the mathematics of complex systems,
and unified cause-and-effect understanding of the physical world from the nanoscale to
the planetary scale.

“Educational institutions at all levels should undertake major curricular and
organizational reforms to restructure the teaching and research of science and
engineering so that previously separate disciplines can converge around common
principles to train the technical labor force for the future.

“Manufacturing, biotechnology, information and medical service corporations will need
to develop partnerships of unparalleled scope to exploit the tremendous opportunities
from technological convergence, investing in production facilities based on entirely new
principles and materials, devices and systems, with increased emphasis on human
development.” (World Technology Evaluation Center, 2002)

Texas community and technical colleges should deploy curricula test-beds for this demand by
leveraging the demand for game industry workers. By focusing on informatics, art, and design
in the gaming field, colleges can promulgate a common educational approach to emerging
industries and sciences. Over time, students and teachers who gain skills in gaming can move
into industries with similar needs.

Gaming is related to 21st

Century science for these reasons:

•Work in these domains is transdisciplinary by nature.

•The underlying mathematics, modeling, and computer technologies are the same or
similar in many instances.

•All seem to be driving a confluence of other related industries, processes, and

Texas community and technical colleges are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to
support the competitiveness and success of the Texas game industry and to catalyze science,
technology, education, and entrepreneurship. Unified, Texas is one of the largest and most
powerful technopolie in the world. In terms of US biotechnology patents, Houston ranks 5th,
Dallas ranks 6th, San Antonio ranks 7th

, and Austin ranks 8th

(Duca, 2002). In addition, Austin
has world-class game, semiconductor, and IT industries. Dallas/Ft Worth has world-class game,
IT, telecom, and life science industries. San Antonio has world-class IT security, aerospace, and
life science industries. Houston-Clearlake has world-class aerospace, energy, IT, and life science



industries. All of these regions are pursuing nanotechnology. By pursuing the transdisciplinary
learning path, Texas colleges can help unite Texas across geographic boundaries and lay the
groundwork for broader application of new learning systems.

The needs of the gaming industry provide a template—a modular educational framework—that
cuts across domains. At least three of the four functional domains of game production and
development are essential to science, technology, and 21st

Century education—informatics

(simulation and cybernetics), art (modeling and animation), and design.

Though digital games are mostly thought of as consumer entertainment, games to teach and
learn have gained early success in the military. The military’s use of Constructivist Network
Learning Environments (CNLEs) is driving the use of games to teach and learn. CNLEs are an
amalgamation of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), Massive Multiplayer Online
Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs), distributed simulators, computer aided instruction, and
learning management systems. CNLEs are emerging to support national defense and homeland
security applications. Colleges should employ these technologies as part of learning strategies
online. The functional domains required to create these learning environments match those of
gaming, with the exception of increased emphasis on cognitive science (instructional design and

The convergence of education and gaming technologies represents an evolution of learning.
CNLEs can support the diffusion of advanced concepts in science, education, and computing,
such as fuel cells, IT security, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. They can expand the role of
cognitive science in game development, provide practical experience, and support broader
educational goals.

Colleges should broaden and formalize game industry relations to include the media industry,
informatics industry, military, and government sponsors with similar needs and agendas. In San
Antonio the Information Technology Security Academy and the Alamo Area Aerospace
Academy have developed a model inter-organizational network to support workforce
development for the long-established IT security cluster. (A diagram of this network appears in
Chapter 8, “Knowledge Workers and Knowledge Industries.”)

Texas community and technical colleges should form similar models, with these goals:

•Establish a broader workforce.

•Connect academics with industry needs across technology industries and clusters.

•Pursue local, regional, statewide, national, and global partnerships.

•Unite Texas through partnership and diffusion of new learning models.

Texas colleges should seriously consider the opportunity to forge a new model transdisciplinary
learning. Colleges that move on this agenda immediately can expect to be early market leaders
and to earn favor from grant- and industry-related sponsors.





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