Teaching Games and Games Literacy


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Presentation to the 2011 Screen Futures Conference on teaching Games and Games Literacy

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  • Answer the following questions:What does the player do?How does the controller let them do those actions?Who is the player in game?Who are they fighting against or in conflict with?Where does the game take place?Are there any other characters or are you alone?How does the game make you feel?Why is it exciting? Why do you like it?
  • Verbs and nouns first; then characters; then some levels
  • Your game’s genreWhat sort of game it isWho the target market isWhat the important player actions (verbs) areWhat the game objects (nouns) look likeGenre: PlatformerTarget Market: Ages 8-15Short pitch: You are Timmy, who has to save the school from the aliens who have crashlanded by using the objects you find around the classrooms, freeing the other students and teachers, and helping the aliens back to their ship.
  • Teaching Games and Games Literacy

    1. 1. Teaching Games and Games Literacy Paul Callaghan E: paul.callaghan@gmail.com W: www.paulcallaghan.net T: www.twitter.com/paul_callaghan
    2. 2. OVERVIEW
    3. 3. About me• Freelance writer & game developer• Programmer, designer, writer, educator• Co-director of Freeplay Independent Games Festival• Board, Game Developers’ Association of Australia• Advisory Committee, IF:Book Australia• Advisory Committee, Screen Futures conference
    4. 4. About the project• Department of Education and Early Childhood Research Project• Focused on Game Development• Running in parallel with ‘Serious Games’ and ‘Virtual Worlds’• Began with the question: ‘what would you teach teachers about game dev?’
    5. 5. The goals…Teacher games Completed literacy game
    6. 6. Aspects of games literacy• Historical context• Rhetorical effects• Rules and systems• Fiction
    7. 7. Day 1 • Physical games • Board games • Types of funDay 2 • Designing physical games • Designing digital games • PrototypingDay 3 • Designing digital games • Pitching & planningDay 4 • Mini-expo
    8. 8. DAY 1
    9. 9. Aims of the day• Experiment with physical games• Play new games• Reflect on the experience• Consider games as collections of rules and fiction
    10. 10. Lemon Jousting
    11. 11. Models of play…
    12. 12. Board games
    13. 13. Reflections• What worked, what didn’t work?• The nature of the end-game• Their emotional experience• The intersection between fiction & the game’s rules
    14. 14. DAY 2
    15. 15. Aims of the day• Deconstruct their experiences from day 1• Look at mechanics & what makes games fun• Rapidly prototype non-digital games• Werewolves!!• Design a sample videogame
    16. 16. What makes things fun?
    17. 17. Bottom up game design
    18. 18. Top down game design
    19. 19. Werewolf
    20. 20. Ways of thinking about games• Play• Rules, states, goals• Verbs & Nouns• Space• Story
    21. 21. School exercise
    22. 22. DAY 3
    23. 23. Aims of the day• Bring the students in• Pull it all together• Design and pitch a game
    24. 24. Prototyping
    25. 25. Student experiences
    26. 26. Games as Verbs and Nouns
    27. 27. School exercise
    28. 28. Pitch their own…
    29. 29. Design their own…
    30. 30. Expo
    32. 32. Outcomes• Bringing in real world game developers• Pre-digital needs a little push• Teachers already have strong games literacy• Students engage quickly with content• Creates a level playing field between teachers & students
    33. 33. Next steps…• Adapting content for professional developers• Integrate with technology component• Integrate into existing curriculum• ???
    34. 34. Questions…? E: paul.callaghan@gmail.com W: www.paulcallaghan.netT: www.twitter.com/paul_callaghan