Why a Video Game Center?

Video games are an international language that transmits values. Today they are the most powerful learning tool that leverages what we know about the human brain and how it learns.

Video games have become a giant global market. They are the most powerful influence on culture and one of the biggest influencers in the education of our children. They are where children invest the greatest share of their free time—more than movies, videos, music, and television combined.

  • Worldwide, people spend more than 3 billion hours a week playing video games
  • In the United States 99% of boys and 94% of girls under 18 report playing video games regularly
  • By age 21, the average young person racks up 10,000 hours of gaming—that’s 24 hours less than the time spent in a classroom during middle and high school if they have PERFECT attendance
  •  52% of parents believe video games are a positive part of their child’s life
  •  71% of parents with children under 18 see gaming as beneficial to mental stimulation or education

Historically, we have seen how movies shift societal values through the way they frame events and people’s behavior—the Vietnam War, the Mafia, homosexuality, the future of humanity, even the shape of extraterrestrials are just a few of the examples that spring to mind.

Video games are even more powerful than movies at embedding concepts, histories, and attitudes because we experience them as action players. Imagine the impact of a game like Civilization, in which large groups of people experience (through their own decisions) the power of spontaneous order, individual freedom, and free markets and see firsthand how these create prosperity and human growth.

How to Support

In February 2018, UFM launched a bootstrap video game center pulling from installed capacities and temporarily sharing resources with various UFM departments.

UFM is in a unique position to operate a video game center for a fraction of the usual cost. Why? Because UFM already has much of the knowledge, infrastructure, and people in place—software, computer labs, and an endless pipeline of talented students itching to dive in.

UFM is working to integrate the video game center into the undergraduate curriculum and create projects that draw from across disciplines.

To do this, UFM needs funding to adapt and outfit a permanent facility in a high-profile space on campus, especially designed for collaborative learning and equipped with its own computers, software, and digital accessories.

For more information on how you can support UFM’s Video Game Center, please contact Nina Rasch at nina@foufm.org.