Professors at University of Arizona have partnered with the developers of Age of Empires IV to offer college credit for playing the game. The University of Arizona Online Illuminated Histories Experience serves to offer an educational twist that provides participants with specific modules and tests pertaining to the game’s content. Players can earn one hour of credit towards their degree, as well as bring in new students to enroll in their online program.

U of A History Department Head Alison Futrell and Associate Professor of Medieval History Paul Milliman have worked with Relic Entertainment and Microsoft to curate both in and out of game content that can help teach about the historical periods offered in Age of Empires.

“Some of my best students are gamers who got interested in history through gaming,” Milliman said. “It was important for us to meet them where they are.”

How to Earn College Credit Playing AoE

Students will first have to complete the game’s main story campaign, which contains over 35 missions sprawling across the key moments in medieval history. Following the campaign, they will have to complete the supplementary Illuminated Histories modules, which go over the historical details and events that occurred during the periods in which the game presents. Once that’s all said and done, students will finish the program by completing and passing the Illuminated Histories assessment. Earning them an undergraduate elective credit towards their degree.

For those who aren’t enrolled at U of A, completing the program will give them an offer to apply to the school’s online program, in which the credit will be automatically applied once accepted.

Milliman described the assessment as more of a scavenger hunt, having students use information gleaned from in game and the Illuminated Histories modules, in order to keep the new program feeling fresh.

“So it’s not your typical, boring test thing,” Milliman said.

In other news, we discussed the cancellation of this year’s E3 and what it means for the future of the gaming industry, which you can read about here.

Written by Carter Barnes