Sports Interactive on educating gamers
They're over the moon, and plan to take steps to cement this new-found reputation, including a few changes to CM4!
Reaction within the games industry to yesterday's Teem report has naturally been very positive. Sports Interactive MD Miles Jacobson told us that the report made the Championship Manager team "very proud". "The findings of the report show that what the dev team at SI are doing is not only creating a great, fun, simulation of football management, but it is also stimulating to the mind," Miles told us. "It's always better to make people think whilst they are being entertained, rather than dumbing down through entertainment." We were also curious about what CM actually teaches kids. "I still haven't seen a full copy of the report," he admitted, "but from what we've been told it helps kids learn how to use databases, and also helps them learn financial management, which are both very important job and life skills. "By providing an editor with ChampMan, it means that kids can be set tasks, such as 'find the best sixteen players in the database and put them all at Watford' (I wish!), then let the kids play a season to see if they are successful (in which case kids learn about man management skills too, coz 16 prima donna's are quite hard to manage properly!). With the financial management, they could be set a task such as 'return Everton to profit, whilst retaining their place in the Premier League'. I wish I had lessons like that at school - maybe I would have done better there! "We've also been told that in a similar study, it was found as the best way to get 11-15 year old delinquents back into the classroom, which is an amazing statistic - we can feel the truancy rate coming down already!" Instead of using the report to help sell more copies of the game, SI aims to celebrate it by co-operating with the powers that be. "We'd love to sit down with the education authority and discuss it all further, and will hopefully be able to grant site licenses for free to schools who want to add it to the curriculum." And Miles was also happy to wax lyrical about the next iteration of the popular footy franchise. "There have always been plans afoot to make CM4 a bit more educational anyway - for the last few releases of the game, we've included 'A history of Football' with the game, which is criminally overlooked by most parties (it'll be there on your hard drive somewhere) and it would be great if we could make the training areas of the game more educational too - wouldn't it be great if little Johnny who plays CM goes and says to his PE teacher 'Can we run round some bollards today please, because I need to build up my stamina and acceleration over small distances?' "Overall, it's just great to be able to give something back, and hopefully stem the flow of 'videogames are evil' arguments for a while with a positive 'video games are educational' argument instead!" Our thanks to Miles for taking some time out to answer our questions. Related Feature - Games do provide education