August 29, 2003

Game studies in the Monitor

by Michael Mateas · , 7:47 pm

The Christian Science Monitor ran an article about game studies today. Besides quotes from some usual defenders of game studies, including Janet Murray, Celia Pearce and James Gee (who was featured in the recent Chronical of Higher Education chat on games), the article includes representatives of the academy who think game studies is bunk:

“It’s just another concession to the customer. Kids have grown up playing Nintendo. They don’t read because they don’t know how to read – they don’t cultivate the imagination…. They need to be put through the intellectual rigors of a traditional format for education. Video games are just an easy way to avoid it.” – Edward Smith, director of American Studies at American University

I wonder if this is the majority opinion in academia? In my little corner of the world at Georgia Tech, both departments I’m appointed in (Literature, Communication and Culture and College of Computing) are enthusiastic about video games as a legitimate object of scholarly study. I’d be interested to hear any comments from people who’ve had to fight battles over this.