Research News

UW's Steinkuehler speaks about video games in Washington, D.C.

November 13, 2015

UW-Madison’s Constance Steinkuehler recently spoke at the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) briefing titled, "Accelerating America’s Creative Tech Industry," in Washington, D.C.

Steinkuehler is an associate professor in digital media in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and co-directs the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. She is also the executive director of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA). Other ​panelists included ESA’s Erik Huey and Michael Gallagher.

Constance Steinkuehler“I got into games because I was very interested in what kids were doing with all of their time," Steinkuehler says during the briefing. "You can show that kids in K-12 spend more time playing games every day than they spend doing homework. So if there’s that much time of investment, then what’s happening cognitively (and) developmentally? It turns out that what’s going on is pretty terrific. While we’re all concerned about screen time, games are this magical medium that turn screen time into doing time, into problem-solving, into activity.”

Steinkuehler also spoke about her own research, which found that placing games in K-12 curricula not only improved performance, but retention and interest as well. These results translated into higher education. College graduates reported higher income and higher satisfaction in their jobs than the national average.

“The impact that we’re (HEVGA) having on campuses is pretty profound, especially in topics like diversifying who goes into computer science, which is probably one of the biggest pressing issues we have in STEM-related fields right now," Steinkuehler argues. 

Watch the full briefing, which took place on Oct. 27, on  this YouTube video.

To learn more, check out this report in the Huffington Post.