Online course offerings are becoming increasingly more common in education. Nearly 3 million U.S. students are currently taking university level courses online and more than half of all higher education institutions see online education as critical to their long-term strategy. The competition for online students will continue to escalate as more and more institutions realize that online education is a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar market.
Clearly, education is becoming a commodity and many educational institutions are looking to online education to improve their revenue stream. The competition for online students is bound to become more and more intense. The marketing of online courses, however, is still in its infancy. Courses designed like video games are one way to win this competition by appealing to the target demographic in a way that they embrace. A recent study found that 70 percent of U.S. college students play video games (32 percent even admit to playing video games during class without the knowledge of their instructors).
In addition to being one of the most popular video game genres (along with adventure and sports), RPGs are perhaps the most appropriate video game genre for educational purposes. RPG stands for Role-Playing Game. A role-playing game is a game in which each player takes the part of a character and participates in an adventure. The popularity of online role-playing games is staggering–there are currently more than 25 million people playing MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) such as The Sims Online, Runescape, City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Final Fantasy, EverQuest, Lineage, and Ragnarok.
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