Text Box: Gone are the days of Pong and Space Invaders.  Today’s children are playing more advanced, graphically stimulating video games.  Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, these games are using advanced 3D programming to provide players with graphics that are more realistic than ever before.  Because of these advances in the entertainment industry, students in our classrooms are developing more sophisticated expectations for the realism of modeling and simulations.  With some insight and forethought, the 3D technologies being employed by the gaming and entertainment industries may be leveraged within the K-12 and undergraduate curriculum to provide students added engagement for learning and increased motivation to better understand the complex systems represented by these realistic simulations.
Text Box: The EdCenter at San Diego State University has explored the use of two “off the shelf” development tools used for 3D game programming.  We have been using Studio Max 3D to create 3D objects which are then imported into and manipulated by the Torque Gaming Engine.  We are evaluating the ease of development, interface features, multi-user support, scalability, performance and cross-platform support.