Students studying criminal justice at Fox Valley Technical College (Oshkosh, WI.) will use a first-person simulator game next semester to train for various hypothetical policing scenarios - from domestic disputes to lost children and traffic stops.
"It's a first-person perspective on interacting with a virtual crime scene," said FVTC Vice President for Instruction Chris Matheny. "Students will walk through this virtual environment in order to practice these (law enforcement) skills before applying them, ultimately, in the real world."
Of course running through the simulation goes hand-in-hand with actual instruction from teachers, but the advantage of being able to experience situations like this prior to experiencing the real thing better prepares those seeking a career in criminal justice for the vocation they have chose.
Games are proving to be useful tools for various levels of education. One of the main research hubs in Wisconsin exploring game-based learning is the Games Learning Society in Madison, where University of Wisconsin educational technology professor Kurt Squire works. Squire said using video games as teaching tools is comparable to using books or movies.
While games like the criminal justice simulator are a great supplement to traditional college courses, Squire reminds everyone that instructors and educators are still the most important piece of the puzzle.
"Games will never replace teachers any more quickly than a book or film or radio," Squire said.
Source: The North Western