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A look inside the exhibit "The Video Game Wizards - Transforming Science and Art into Games" at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.
A look inside the exhibit "The Video Game Wizards - Transforming Science and Art into Games" at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. (Kamau High)

Your recent article "Making video games in Baltimore with Sid Meier" (Oct. 23) shows how far we've come in understanding gaming technology and the people behind game development.

At the University of Baltimore, students in the Simulation and Digital Entertainment Department are learning to develop games not only for fun but to expand on their creative abilities and find new ways to solve real problems.

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A key part of that learning is understanding the mind of game users. As a faculty member in this growing program, I work with students to develop simulation-based games to train for extremely difficult things, such as flying a helicopter or piloting a ship, as well as educational board games for children and adults. Our undergraduate and graduate researchers are identifying how games can improve learning for all kinds of tasks.

It's interesting to consider that this exhibition is happening in a space where Baltimore's bygone industries once flourished. Times change, people's passions evolve. Game development is indeed a thriving industry in our state, and there's every reason to celebrate that right here in Baltimore. Sid Meier and his crew deserve a lot of credit for putting on the exhibition.

The article explored a key question: How can students get into game development? The answer is to go to college — that's where one can learn everything one needs to know in order to pursue it as a career.

Not only is the knowledge there, but college is also where students can refine their interests and establish their own powerful social networks.

Developing games is not only about experiences where the user shoots, hunts or runs away from things — it's also about improving lives. My congratulations to Mr. Meier and The Sun for highlighting this evolution.

Sujan Shrestha

The writer is an assistant professor in the University of Baltimore's Division of Science, Information Arts and Technologies.

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