July 25th, 2006

Ohio High School Encourages Troubled Kids to Take Up Games

Typically, video games are blamed for distracting kids from their studies. But in Dayton, Ohio, a new high school encourages teens to immerse themselves in games.

As reported by the Dayton Daily News, 80 academically troubled kids have been accepted into an innovative program which will focus largely on the elements of video game creation, from concept to finished product.

"That's what they love," said Chief Academic Officer David White of the Dayton Technology Design High School. "That's the hook."

About 80% of the new school's 100 students are enrolled in a "virtual game" track. The idea is to complete a student-made game within three years.

"When we first started talking about the video game, people laughed at us," Superintendent Percy Mack told the Daily News. "But they laughed at the Wright brothers, too."

The new tech school is designed for 16- to 22-year-olds and will cover traditional subjects as well as video game design.

"This is not just a game, Mack added. "It's about educating students and giving them something they can do after they graduate."

GP: A shout-out to GP reader Keaton2008 for the heads-up on this one...