Video games are being installed across campus for students to enjoy between classes and use as part of their education later.
There are 18 Microsoft Xbox systems now in use on Main Campus in common areas of residence halls, the Student Union, Gillham Hall and the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement.Throughout the semester, UT’s Information Technology Department has been installing custom cabinets that include a TV and Xbox system around campus for students to use. Controllers can be checked out with a student ID from the building’s office or residence hall’s front desk.
“UT is implementing Microsoft’s Xbox One systems across campus to provide a platform for not only entertainment, but eventually multimedia education,” said Dominic D’Emilio, senior director of network services and technology support. “We recently installed the gaming systems and students are already enjoying the new technology playing the popular NFL Madden game with their friends. As Microsoft releases more games in this new Windows 10 environment, we will be adding further edutainment options for students.”
Providing video game systems on campus started as a conversation in the Provost’s Office for activities students might enjoy, such as a video game tournament, and it quickly evolved into a discussion of how to support UT’s increasing use of interactive technology in and out of the classroom.
Academic Technology and Simulation Gaming along with the Information Technology Department is part of UT’s new Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions, which also includes the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and the Center for Creative Instruction.
UT’s Technology team has worked with industries on simulation game initiatives. For example, a simulation game recently developed for a local company will help staff experience running a virtual plant under different scenarios to better prepare managers for real-world operations.
“The technology team is now working with several academic programs to build similar simulation games, which will be part of academic courses across UT,” said William McCreary, vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer.
“Simulation is becoming an integral part of the education experience at UT with medical students using the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and students doing modeling in geography courses, among many others, and the University is looking forward to working with Microsoft to deploy new product versions and features to incorporate more serious gaming into the education experience using our XBox Windows 10 environment.”
The Xboxes are located at:
• Academic House Rooms 1064 and 6072;
• Gillham Hall fourth floor lounge;
• International House lounges in Rooms 2001, 4001 and 6001;
• MacKinnon Hall Room 2170;
• Ottawa House East Room 2213;
• Ottawa House West Room 2215;
• Parks Tower Rooms 327, 627, 827, 1027, 1227 and 1427;
• Presidents Hall Room 3002;
• Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement Room 1110; and
• Outside Student Union Room 1525.
Gaming systems also will be installed in the Honors Academic Village.
“As these systems gain increased adoption, students will be truly amazed at the many things they can do beyond just game playing,” McCreary said.