Posts Tagged videogames

Extra Credits: Gamifying Education

Thanks to @Gwimbo for sharing this kick-ass video with me today!

by Extracredits, 6 May 2011 2:00 am
escapistmagazine.com

NB: Was interested to look over this related comment thread.  It struck me that, while people tend to agree with me to my face when I talk to them about Games Based Learning, that many (some? all?) also will walk away still thinking this in the back of their mind:

I think this is bullshit, the reason why people are addicted to facebook and videogames is not because they want to be awarded achievements and level-ups it because it beats work, its more about poor work ethic and lack of discipline and the way society fosters such values rather than anything else.

So, where do you stand on that?

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Video Games and Storytelling

Came across this excellent animated lecture by Daniel Floyd on Jawbone.tv.  Perfect for an introduction to narrative in videogames for my Year 9 class.  I think I’ll make a listening task for it – will post it up if I do.

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Gifted and Talented Action Research

In my school I am part of a group of beginning teachers that are completing action research projects in their gifted and talented classes.  Our school is half-selective, meaning half of the students had to sit an academic exam for entry.  The rest of the school is made up of local students, but we also run a G&T class in years 9 & 10 of the local stream.  The class I’m using for my action research is my Year 9 G&T class, and the unit I am studying is the videogame unit…fun research :)

In our school there is a focus on developing three traits of giftedness as identified by Renzulli:

  • above average though not necessarily superior general ability;
  • high level of task commitment or intrinsic motivation;
  • and creativity

The students in my class certainly do display above average ability, and my aim is for my teaching units thie year to boost their levels of task commitment, intrinsic motivation and creativity.  The videogame unit so far is proving successful in these areas – in today, the third lesson of the unit, students worked in their groups for the first time, taking turns at playing the games (Need For Speed: Carbon, and Street Fighter II) and at creating an account on our class wiki and making some new pages.

So far the level of task commitment and intrinsic motivation is sky high!  The creativity is off to a slow start in some respects, but I think we did some important work today in laying the foundations for creativity.  I spent a lot of times with the groups on the laptops today, making sure students were comfortable with their roles as writers/authors on the class wiki.  This creating of information, along with activities in later weeks where students will create their own video game concept and characters, is all designed to lead students into higher order thinking.

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ACMI games resources

Just found this great page of games resources on the ACMI webpage.

I’m going to use information from their pages on games genres as well as an excellent essay by Matthew Sakey on ‘understanding character in videogames‘.  Here is an extract:

The protagonist, however richly conceived, is ultimately a cipher for the player. The less we know about the character we play, the more possible it becomes for us to project our own personality onto them. Developers are reluctant to force a persona onto the player, but they do also want to accomplish their creative goals. The challenge of interactivity lies in encouraging players to take control while still experiencing the story that the game developers want to tell.

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