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Already Used in McDonald's Training, Nintendo DS Comes to Japanese Schools

For years, video games have been a staple of after-school leisure, but, in Japan, students may soon be spending significant amounts of class time in front of a Nintendo, as well. As The Escapist reports, Nintendo has undertaken a widespread campaign to brand its DS console as a veritable educational tool, and has already struck a deal that would put the consoles in the hands of elementary and middle school students around Japan.

While in London to accept a BAFTA Fellowship award, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's top designer, spoke about the new initiative, which should go into effect at the beginning of the new school year. Citing the numerous math, language and reading programs already available on the device, Miyamoto expressed his earnest belief that the DS should be used alongside textbooks and other traditional classroom tools. Not only do the device's touchscreen, microphone and wireless capabilities make it especially conducive to educational settings, but its relatively low price makes it substantially easier to implement on a large scale, too.

While it may be difficult for some of us old-timers to imagine a classroom filled with Nintendo consoles, it actually makes a lot of sense, especially in Japan. DS consoles are already used in other public educational forums around the island nation, including museums, galleries and aquariums. According to Technabob, Japanese McDonald's restaurants have recently developed a DS training program for its employees. Training part-time employees to package fries, of course, isn't quite the same thing as educating the Japanese leaders of tomorrow, but given the Nintendo DS's diverse functionality, it's not hard for us to see how it could add a lot to any classroom. [From: The Escapist and Technabob]

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