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Learning Games Initiative at Utah State University

Computer game studies is an area open to scholars at multiple levels for experimentation and research. LGI at USU draws upon a diverse group of researchers and practitioners-including undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in departments as diverse as Art, English, Computer Science, and Instructional Technology-to design, study, teach, and build computer games for educational and academic study.

The technology, marketing, designing, programming, and retailing of computer games affects no small body of gamers; rather, the computer game industry constitutes a vast cultural influence on wide-ranging communities. For example, just speaking economically, computer game sales represent a $10.5 billion industry (see 2005 US game sales). Recent games like Halo regularly gross more money than many of the top box office hits. However, unlike film, which has a rich history of academic study, there is only recently become an interest in studying the cultural impact of computer games.

Students and scholars who wish to apply their own respective fields to computer game studies are welcome to join the research effort. Some computer game applications currently under study include: alternative educational environments and simulations, educational game modding and machinema, the cultural and ideological impact of popular computer games, and applications of game design that teach educational content.

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