Portal 2 is a special type of game. In a landscape dominated by violent first person shooters and over the top open world adventures, Valve’s puzzle-platform title is an experience unlike anything out there. It’s one of those games that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something great. This is perhaps why it’ll soon be used as an educational tool.
Announced at Games for Change in New York City, Valve said it will introduce “Steam for Schools” this summer, a free edutainment platform that will include Portal 2, the game’s level editor, and its workshop for hosting and organizing user-created levels. That means both students and teachers can create puzzles, though only authority figures will have admin access, meaning kids will be unable to share levels.
A website has been set up as a sort of hub for teachers to collaborate through lesson plans focused on subjects like physics, language arts, engineering and math.; the overall aim of the program is to help boost critical thinking and problem solving skills. If I were still in school, this would be something I’d gladly study. I just hope that no teachers are demented enough to drop their students in a sentry turret-filled room without protection.