Hey there,

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience (or existing materials) in teaching about games for change in a classroom setting. I have an opportunity to teach an after school game design class and thought it would be a great lab to have the kids come up with a social or environmental issue to base the game around.

Any input would be most appreciated.

Cheers,

 - JR

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Very interesting question. 

1) I think that 'play testing' is a very powerful skill that every game designer needs to learn.  To student game designers, it might be fun to challenge them to start designing their game as a table top game.   They need to nail the following questions:  What is the story and objective of game?   What are the rules of the game? Why would someone volunteer for the work of the game? What is the system of feedback for the game? (score, badges, space, etc.) 

2) I think Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) does some amazing work in passion based learning and getting her students to explore concerns in the community... She, however, uses virtual worlds(opensim) to keep their attention and encourages the students to design and teach.    To learn more, please visit  http://inspiredtoeducate.net/inspiredtoeducate/?p=525 .  Her idea of the flat classroom is also amazing too.

3) I had the opportunity to mentor college students in technical communications proposals class.  We challenged the students to teach a subject that they were passionate about using a game.  I have shared our experience and lessons learned here:

http://inspiredtoeducate.net/inspiredtoeducate/?p=724

4) I know that others in the community have used the following tool to enable kids to create video games... 

http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/windows

I would love to hear the impact of your efforts.   Please let me know if there's more that I can do.

Michael,

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative reply. I'll check out the links.

With 2 hours a week and 6 weeks to work with I may be setting my sights a bit high... but I think we'll be able to do something interesting regardless. The students will be grades 5-8 so I envision myself facilitating and polishing as part of the process.

I'll definitely do a write up and share my experiences. Maybe I could post on this thread as the workshop progresses.

Cheers,

                   - Jose

http://www.jnoodle.com/homeless/  homelessness

http://www.jnoodle.com/wolfpup.html  bullying

What software will you be using?

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