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U of I Professor Studies Correlation Between Education and Video Games

by Briana Collins, ABC Newschannel 20 / Sep 18, 2019

H.Chad Lane_ABC20

Video games and science usually don’t mix, but, associate professor of Educational Psychology Chad Lane disagrees.

“A lot of modern games are actually connected in deep ways to science, technology, engineering and math," Lane said.

And he should know--he's studied kids playing games for years now. He started studying his own son playing Minecraft.

“I found myself really compelled by what he was doing,” Lane said. “Building fantastic machines, exploring different sorts of maps and worlds and interacting with creatures and building buildings he could never do in the real world.”

That inspired Lane to start doing some projects and surveys to look at what certain kids played and why.

“We want to put some science behind it,” he said. “Some educational research that actually answers what happens when kids play those games.”

It’s now evolved into something bigger.

With the help of two research assistants, Lane is working on two projects. One where kids focus on ‘What if the Earth was different?’ The other, children developing solutions to real-world problems like flooding, both using Minecraft.

“Minecraft in particular is one that we have found some really profound connections to the real world and to education,” said Lane.

Read the full story from ABC Newschannel 20.