Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom becomes student material for the University of Maryland engineering students
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo’s latest biggest hit for the Switch, has reached the classrooms of future software engineers in an unexpected way.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom transcends beyond the video game industry. A course from the University of Maryland chose the success of Nintendo as a testing ground for future software engineers. Ryan D. Sochol, a professor teaching his lessons through Hyrule as training, explains how the game led him to turn entertainment into a form of learning for his students.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, from entertainment to classrooms
“As I played through “Tears of the Kingdom,” I couldn’t believe how much I was relying on my engineering training,” Sochol explains in an entry on the University’s website. “The more experience I had with the game’s CAD assembly interface, numerous machine elements, and sophisticated physics, the more I felt it offered unique means to help students hone their skills in machine design”.
In the video, which you can see at the top of this paragraph, there are some examples of how these lessons are put into practice. The course takes the name of “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to Machine Design” and started this fall with enormous success. In it, students can “gain experience designing, prototyping, and testing new types of vehicles, robots, and machines–all within the virtual world of the game.”
There are some machines that are extremely complex. They give as an example a robot that transforms its movement depending on whether it is on land or in water. Yes indeed, the teacher points out with a laugh that perhaps they are not the right creations to beat the game. “The machines created for the design projects aren’t too useful if you’re looking to beat the game, but it enables us to teach engineering in the way it ideally should be taught–as something that is engaging, challenging, exciting, and fun.”