The University of Idaho has announced plans to introduce Pop Culture Games, a physical education class, into the course curriculum next fall. In what is bound to bring cheer to the new students, the class comprises smartphone games that get players moving, including Pokémon Go and Humans vs Zombies.
"It's a great way to engage youth through adults, and a great way to engage families in active games together," Department of Movement Science chair Philip Scruggs was quoted as saying.
"I want it to be more than people going, 'I'm going to go catch a Pikachu,'" said course instructor Steven Bird, a graduate student in UI's Adult, Organisational Learning and Leadership program and staff member in the UI College of Education's Department of Movement Sciences. "This app does more than let you shoot a Pokeball. You get to adventure around, seeing different things, being active, seeing the sun. It allows you to move in large groups and a team. You get not only physical activity, but you also get team-building and leadership."
In addition to chasing Pokemon, students taking the class also will help organise the campus Humans vs Zombie club's annual competition, which combines elements of tag, hide-and-seek and other games for a massive, multiplayer event that lasts for days.
The goal is to give students a fun, creative class that teaches them skills to take with them far beyond an afternoon searching for Charmander or throwing Nerf balls at "zombies" on the Administration Building Lawn - skills like leadership, ethics, safety and respect, said Philip Scruggs, chair of the Department of Movement Sciences.
"We are hoping to capture the interest in Pokemon Go and other active games and draw the link with a healthy, active lifestyle," Scruggs said. "It's a great way to engage youth through adults, and a great way to engage families in active games together. Our interest is to turn folks onto an active lifestyle, and that can be achieved in endless ways."