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Acquired Abilities: Playing Games as Cultural Skill

Sometimes, as a game designer, you tend to forget how well versed you are in your medium. You tend to think that all people are able to plunge into a virtual world and stroll around. You could not be more wrong.

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Required Reading: Portal

Are games just mere entertainment? Or can they be more? Obviously, I strive for the second part – and here is why I might not be that wrong.

This year, for the first time, a video game will appear on the syllabus of a course required for all students at Wabash College, where I teach. For me - and for a traditional liberal arts college founded in 1832 - this is a big deal.

Alongside Gilgamesh, Aristotle’s Politics, John Donne’s poetry, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and the Tao Te Ching, freshmen at Wabash will also encounter a video game called Portal.

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