Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick Blocks:Design-based Learning Models in Informal SettingsKieth Braafladt Cynthia Matthias Brian Myers Ricarose Roque Games + Learning + Society Conference University of Wisconsin-Madison June 2010
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick Blocks Eric Zimmerman, interviewed by Henry Jenkins (December 21, 2006) Retrieved July 23, 2007 fromhttp://www.henryjenkins.org/2006/12/an_interview_with_eric_zimmerm.html
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick BlocksGame Maker Academy organized in 2006, initially as a recurringlibrary-based game design program using the Game MakerplatformConceived as a way of leveraging our successful open gamingevents and competitive gaming tournaments in order to giveyouth and teens an opportunity to play the role of mediacreators, not just consumersProvided a context for the promotion of specific 21st centuryliteracy skills: systems thinking, information management,creativity with digital media content, storytelling, logic, andprogramming, thus aligning our goals with the Library’straditional role as a supporter and provider of literacy education.
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick Blocks Game Maker Object Editor
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick BlocksIn early 2007 we began offering our first ScratchprogramsWe began to see greater diversity amongparticipants, with a broader age range and moregirls in attendanceMany kids would come back to repeatthese programs (both Scratch and Game Maker)and we watched as relationships formed amongthese youth and teens
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick BlocksSome of the more engaged participants decided to form a club in order tosustain the creative environment of the workshops, and to play a role in planningand assisting with additional workshopsMeetings were irregularly scheduled at first, but then began occurring on a monthlybasis in one of the library meeting rooms. Members met in order to • plan additional Game Maker and Scratch workshops, • invite professional guests, • plan game competition events Club members began inviting figures from the gaming industry and from academia as guests (Rachel Nador, left, and Patrick Curry, right).
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick Blocks Members invited to form a teen panel at the ALA’s 2007 Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick BlocksBy the summer of 2008 the club had been together long enough that itsmembers began to see it as a formal institutional entity • Game Design Club web site was created - www.gamemakeracademy.org • Members began thinking and discoursing critically about the club, its scope, structure and its future (sense of ownership and responsibility) • Members began delivering presentations to one another as a component of their monthly meetings (controller mapping, 3D effects, content editing and editing tools)
Turtles, Gobos, Greeps and Brick BlocksGDC members began facilitating workshops themselves beginning in2008A couple members have even been hired to facilitate Game Maker andScratch programs at neighboring suburban librariesMembers have encouraged and helped to develop additional designworkshops and programs, built around the Alice, Robocode andGreenfoot applications.The club regularly hosts gaming tournaments that draw 20-30 teens. Themost popular of these have been the retro tournaments, which sometimesinclude parents.