In a surprising movement, from 2022, those attending the University of Arizona will be able to obtain a credit for their university degrees by playing the Empires IV. This is due to the fact that two members of the department of History of Arizona — Associate Professor of Medieval History Paul Millikan, and Alison Farrell, Head of Department and an Associate Professor of Roman History, who worked on special content for one of the campaigns.
There is, however, a problem to get this credit. Well, some catch. One goes on the website where students will have to follow a module presented by both teachers. After that, players will have to review the key points of the four campaigns, and after that, they will have to pass an assessment. If they succeed, they will obtain a credit for their degree. It is very clear that this credit has only after admission to Arizona. Nevertheless, it is also clear that this additional material is free and can be appreciated by anyone, although the players still need a copy of age of empires IV. So, most of the time free.
Yet it is a big step towards the association of game and learning. It is actually a project developed by the university, instead of the players community more than two years ago, by Kara Aquila no Lorna, Executive Director of Business Initiatives and Business Development for Arizona Online. She collaborated with Will McCall, entrepreneur at the Microsoft Worlds Edge Games Studio, as well as with the two teachers to make this possible.
I approached the history department and called it a happy chance or destiny, but when I discovered that we had two teachers who are players and one of them was a medievalist, that Sealed the case. Said Lorna. We started discussions before COVID-19 knocks, which then made us back a year. But now, we are finally at a point where we can announce the partnership, and I could not be more delighted. »
McCall also commented on the partnership with Arizona. The university partnership was not our initial goal, but the first time I played in the country, it triggered a conversation of more than 20 minutes on the Normans with our narrative designer. I realized that we had to put this in the hands of the students. He then added, I am delighted, and I think the students will be pleasantly surprised by this unique approach to learning history.
Millikan is already working on creating a new type of course in which player players will become students-players, and perhaps work towards a degree in Arizonas history department. This may be a new type of learning and maybe a new game type.
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