Game Designs from the Minds of Middle Schoolers, Vol. 16!!!
And we are done! Thank you! Students are finished with the semester, school year, and answering questions. Everyone's support has been PHENOMENAL. There have been so many comments on everyone's games, and I really appreciate your support for them and their work. Thank you so much, and we will see you next year!
Each semester, I teach a game design unit to my gifted 7th graders. This geeklist is the culmination of their work. Please help them celebrate their innovation and hard work by thumbing, commenting, and asking questions on their games. I will have them respond!
We begin by playing a lot of games, and they design a race game with a partner. After playtesting and getting feedback, they iterate their design to make a better race game. Then, we play more games, and they start to design their own game. They learn mechanics and brainstorm different themes, and then think about how they could apply those mechanics in a game. They create a prototype, and then we begin three cycles of playtesting, feedback, and prototype development. They draft rules, make a nicer version of their prototype, and here we are!
Game design teaches so much more than just how to make games.
This project is unlike any school project that they have had at this point in their lives where they get an assignment, do the thing, turn it in, and probably get a good grade. Game design means coming up with an idea, and continually working on that same idea for an entire quarter. Even then, at the end, it's still not "done," as there is always more to do.
Students have to define a problem (what they want to happen in their game) and design and test how they will solve that problem. There is no right answer, so they have to work with a lot of uncertainty, both in terms of what they're working on as well as what the end product will be. They have to learn how to give and receive feedback to help inform their design choices, but also to make the decision on the best way to proceed with their game. This is really hard to do!
I talk about two big ideas when it comes to creating anything. First, the goal is to be finished, not perfect (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRtV-ugIT0k) but also, perplexingly, frustratingly, we talk about how good ideas are never finished. This can be frustrating for some, but if you want to create and add new ideas to the world, you have to accept your own limitations in order to challenge them with new ideas and projects.
This class is a mammoth undertaking, and I'm so impressed with their hard work, ingenuity, and collaboration with their classmates as they work to create meaningful games.
Please encourage them by thumbing, commenting, or questioning their games. I will have them respond.
Student had to answer the following questions:
Provide a short description of the story and objectives.
Describe the gameplay—what do players do on their turns using the mechanics?
How do players win and how does the game end?
Why did you choose this theme?
WHY IS YOUR GAME AWESOME AND AMAZING? (What are you proud of???)
If you're interested in teaching game design, I share all my teaching design resources for free at www.kathleenmercury.com In addition, I cohost the podcast Games in Schools and Libraries (http://www.inversegenius.com/gsl/) and I'm always happy to talk with other educators who use games or want to use games in their classrooms!
Thank you all so much!
- [+] Dice rolls