grandeur.jpg John Nordlinger over at Microsoft Research passed GSW a rather fun story on his division's recent Royal Caribbean cruise conference, which was held "to figure out how to bring computer games into the classroom."

The Forbes piece makes an excellent summary of Microsoft's chief concerns and desired actions on computer science education, as recently aired at a Serious Games Summit 2005 lecture, and described here too: "Computer science has seen a steep decline in undergraduate enrollment over the past few years, with some statistics showing average drops of 30% a year. Reasons for this decline are unclear, but some academics are beginning to believe that computer games might just be the best way to reverse the trend."

Oh, and here's a cute quote to end on: "After Microsoft's [Dave] Luehmann praised the technical sophistication of three new Xbox 360 games (Mass Effect, Too Human, and Gears of War), a silver-haired professor raised his hand and commented: 'You just showed us three very sophisticated and very violent games, and I'm sure they're good for something--though I don't really know what that is--but what I want to know is, when will you make a videogame that's really useful? When will you make a videogame that's going to teach my students chemistry?'". Hopefully, this is what serious games are striving toward even now, even if they don't have AAA console game budgets to do so just yet.