Starcraft in learning and research

These are slightly old, but I found these articles again recently:

University of Florida has had a business management class for the last few years that uses Starcraft to teach business management skills.

Starcraft 2 may pass chess as the most analyzed game used to try and understand human cognition.

I don’t play Starcraft myself (I prefer turn-based to real-time strategy for the most part), but I have played enough Starcraft to have a basic idea of the complexity of the game. The fact that it not only can be used to understand very large, complicated systems, but also can help study any and all cognitive processes just shows that video games have nearly unlimited learning potential.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. seangordon
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 11:05:42

    I’ve never seen this before. I’m also not a Starcraft player but am familiar with RTS type games. This is pretty wild to consider that a sci-fi video game could offer such significant implications for learning, especially when compared to perhaps one of the granddaddy of games, chess. On some level, it makes sense given how complex the game is (even compared to chess). I guess its just surprising to see chess and Starcraft considered for the same type of research.

    Reply

  2. elton1
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 13:03:49

    I’ve played Starcraft quite substantially (and I’ve also played a fair amount of chess) and I can definitely WHY Starcraft is the new-age chess. To give you guys an idea, Starcraft is one of the last human made games that cannot be mastered by computers.That means that Big Blue (or whatever reigning supercomputer out there) can beat ANY human at chess, but NOT any human at Starcraft.

    What makes this even more amazing is the fact that Starcraft is an ACTION game (real time strategy = real time clicking speed!) that delivers a strategy-focused core game. I think these concepts could really help us decipher a lot of complex systems, from designing them (user-created maps on starcraft) to navigating them in the most efficient way possible (playing the user-created maps). Something that expensive proprietary simulations would not give the proper power to (for the money, of course)

    Reply

  3. carlmich
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 13:55:28

    Also a class at Cal Berkeley about it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7XiE_V0PZ8. they use it to teach game theory and strategy. All RTS games are a great way to show how people react in certain situations and explore differing strategies. Players that play rush strategies, how does their thinking differ from those that build up forces and bases until they attempt to overwhelm the opponent.

    Reply

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