One of the things I remember dreading the most in each college course was the handing out of the syllabus. This loaded piece of paper captures your entire semester in paper form, telling you just how busy you are going to be, and exactly what you’re going to be doing. Add five of these together, and they become a horde of wild beasts. Although perhaps I would have felt differently if I were a student at Wabash College this year.
For the first time, a video game is appearing on a Wabash College syllabus as required “reading” for a course titled Enduring Questions, one that all freshmen must complete in order to move on with their college careers. Here is a little bit of a snippet about the course itself:
Enduring Questions is a required freshman seminar offered during the spring semester. It is devoted to engaging students with fundamental questions of humanity from multiple perspectives and fostering a sense of community. Each section of the course includes a small group (approximately 15) of students who consider together classic and contemporary works from multiple disciplines. In so doing, students confront what it means to be human and how we understand ourselves, our relationships, and our world.
Apparently, one of the faculty members is a gamer, and took the charge to think of unique non-text media examples to a great conclusion: Portal. To him, it addresses questions of individuality and the onstage performance of people versus their backstage identities, which perfectly sums up Aperture’s experiments in a nice, thoughtful and engaging way. He pitched this idea to the rest of the faculty, and they jumped aboard, and began testing distribution and Steam installation on a big level, to ensure that many freshmen could all do it as well.
To me, this is a huge and awesome step towards video games getting cultural and thoughtful recognition. It ranks right up there with the way that Shadow of the Colossus was handled in the movie Reign Over Me, as a man tried to deal with the deaths of his family through playing the game.
What do you guys think of this? If you were putting together a video game course list, what would you include on it? Go!
Source- The Brainy Gamer