In an unprecedented move to bolster innovation in learning, a new course centered around a video game was launched this fall at Texas A&M University. The course uses the video game ARTé: Mecenas, developed by Triseum. It includes faculty-led lectures and immersive game play whereby students are transported to the 15th and 16th centuries to commission works of art as a Medici banker. Students can earn one credit hour for achieving 100 percent mastery in the game.
André Thomas, CEO of Triseum and a professor at Texas A&M University, spoke about the development of the game and its applications:
“ARTé: Mecenas was created out of necessity. I was approached by a faculty member at Texas A&M, Dr. Spurgeon, who was teaching Art History Survey to non-art students. In just two semesters she had to cover 5,000 years of human art history on a global scale, which is like trying to see Europe in a speed train in a week. She wanted to provide more context and deeper meaning for her students, and thought this could be accomplished through a game. Since 97% of students play games for four hours or more every week, it seemed to be an ideal way to engage students with the course content. She came to me to help design and develop an art history game that not only would teach students about the art and its relevance, but one that also would be engaging.