Boise State University students leading the way in the world of gaming

BOISE - Students at Boise State University are leading the way in gaming, and some of their newest programs aren't just for fun but are designed to help others.

"Our professors like to call us renaissance developers," Boise State student Dean Cohen said. " So the simulation we have done is the helping real nurses learn the procedure so when they physically have to do the procedure they know how to do it well."

Some games are even designed to take on the task of modern-day therapy.

"Video games are a very common tool with people who have clinical and major depression," Cohen explained.

"We've built games that give people a way to do their physical therapy [in ways] that are more fun, " student  Liz Altmiller said.

At Boise State, they're also creating games for the classroom. "We've built a simulator of the World War I trenches and what they're really like," Miller said.

Although some are skeptics when it comes to gaming, the World Health Organization is now recognizing gaming as a disorder, even saying some gaming can be linked to mental illness.

"I think gaming has opened up the conversation about mental illness," Cohen said.

Director of games and interactive media at BSU Anthony Ellertson says the possibilities for helping others through gaming are endless.

"When you look at companies like Goldman Sachs they are predicting the virtual reality market is gonna be an 80 million dollar industry by 2025,"  Ellertson said. 

Ellertson added in the future more than half of the industry will be dedicated to learning versus entertainment, and that's why Boise state wants to continue to push its students to be at the forefront of this innovative business. 

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