Monday, May 07, 2007

COMPETES Act Would Include Serious Games

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future


The Senate recently passed a bill in which money would be available to education and technology that would include serious games: Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act

Via Kotaku - Education: Gaming in the Public Sector

On Friday, April 20, 2007, Senate began consideration of S. 761, the “America COMPETES Act.” On April 25 the United States Senate passed the America COMPETES Act, to help boost scientific and technological research and innovation by the United States.

The legislation is based on several of the recommendations from both the “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report conducted by the National Academies and a report by the Council on Competitiveness titled “Innovate America”.


Among the highlights, the bill would:

Double the authorized funding for the National Science Foundation in five years and set the Department of Energy's Office of Science on a path to double over 10 years.

Create an Innovation Acceleration Research Program to encourage federal agencies to set aside 8 percent of research and development funding for high-risk, high pay-off research.

Create science magnet schools where-by each national laboratory "adopts" a school to strengthen its math and science capability.

Create a broad range of programs to train teachers in math and science education through the Department of Education and Department of Energy while encouraging student participation in advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs.

The bill makes a concerted effort to involve DOE's national laboratories by establishing training and education programs at summer institutes hosted by the labs, and by creating partnerships between labs and high schools to build centers of excellence in math and science education.


When students learn information only from books, they don't get the deeper training that they need...Researchers are studying the role of video games in learning. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) released a report in 2006 that identified skills that researchers found students could learn better from playing games than from conventional training. Those skills included the ability to make fast decisions in critical, high-stress situations.

Hopefully, with this bill, developers will take more of an interest in making serious games.