Microsoft Invests In Institute To Evaluate How Gaming Benefits Learning

Microsoft Corp. has come up with a new learning institute in a bid to help researchers to comprehend the constructive influence of video games on gamers.

In order to learn the impact of video games on gamers, the software giant has invested a whopping $1.5 million into the new institute, dubbed as “The Game for Learning Institute (GfLI)”, a collaborative endeavour from the New York University and other colleges.

The company, which publishes a variety of games ranging from Halo to Gears of War, is analyzing the response of gaming enthusiasts to spot whether video gaming can enhance the learning capabilities in classrooms.

Quoting the objective behind the new learning institute, Microsoft’s head of gaming research John Nordlinger, said in a statement “We want to figure out what's compelling about the games. If we can find out how to make the games fun and not make them so violent, that would be ideal”.

Researchers already have kicked off their research study on a few middle school students to see if video gaming is beneficial in enhancing their learning practices.

However, Microsoft isn’t the first to do this kind of research, as researchers from the University of Wisconsin have purported that playing “World of Warcraft” can boost scientific thinking.

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Our Comments

Microsoft's investment in the gaming sector is a smart one. Gaming is an obvious choice since it is one sector that is currently bucking the trend of depressing sales and layoffs. Indeed, games are bound to be the big winners of 2009 as more people stay at home. Microsoft could also benefit from the research by incorporating the inputs to make better applications.

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