Computer Game Causing Student Problems

If you haven’t heard of Infection, you probably haven’t been paying too much attention. The game designed by ETU seniors Dave McColluch and Dana Curtis solves the perennial game designer’s problem of “Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master” and has been downloaded and spread throughout the campus. Simultaneously releasing as a Flash based game played in web browsers, downloadable through such social gaming networks as XBOX-Live and also available for play on iPhones and T-Mobile’s G1 Infection has been downloaded nearly 45,000 times and is entirely ubiquitous amongst campus residents.

“We never thought it would catch on like it has, it’s really been quite amazing.” noted McColluch. “Within just two weeks of release, Dana and I have both sealed our senior project and nearly paid for for the last two years of tuition.”

Not everyone is so pleased with the game’s success though. Students currently dealing with the stress of finals have had to contend with dividing their time appropriately between play and study. Professors are concerned that the temptation of Infection might affect students an a very immediate and negative fashion. “For what it is, the game is an addiction. There’s the immediate reward of peer recognition by announcing high score achievements across all networked players, constant requirement to attribute more and more time to the game and significant feelings of withdrawal when unable to play. Students are awarded for getting their friends to join with in game bonuses furthering the game’s ability to steal away precious time that should instead be spent studying.” stated Jonah Amberwood from ETU’s department of student affairs.

Most others who have played the game are unconcerned, but with finals soon over the impact Infection has had on the student population will be clear.

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