The U.S. is currently in a global competition for science and engineering talent. Only a small fraction of our populace pursues careers as scientists or engineers, in direct contrast with emerging countries for which 50% or more of college students follow a science or engineering track. The quality of our science and engineering education system is also poor, if international test scores are to be believed. U.S. military and economic dominance is at stake, as outlined starkly by the Hart-Rudman report (the report that correctly predicted the attacks on 9/11):
“Second only to a weapon of mass destruction detonating in an American city, we can think of nothing more dangerous than a failure to manage properly science, technology and
education for the common good over the next quarter century.”
Games have the potential to address this situation head-on, providing mass-customized, quality education on a scale that far exceeds the reach of the U.S. university system in science and engineering fields. Even more compelling are the emerging data that show games provide superior learning outcomes to lecture-based instruction, in almost all cases.