Kurt Squires opened the GLS 6.0 with a presentation based upon the premise games are good and games can support student learning. He believes there has been enough research to prove games are good and do make a difference to student learning.
He proposed good games and learning are equal possibility spaces. Games can be fun. Not every game is great or even fun.
What makes a good game?
- sense of orchestration of time
- choice of character
- geography is important
- game consists of sets of choices and consequences
- given goals: short, medium, long term (that you really want to do)
- and incidental goals occurring along the way.
- Making own story / own game.
- Game is a balanced progression – map mastery of learning and the development of novel strategies.
Games provide what is missing from real world
- social possibilities
- be something you’re not
- learning is social
- productive possibilities
Hierarchy of Gamers
- Newbie – curious
- Competent – mastery – involvement
- Master player – systems level – community leader and – call to leadership
- Tinker – modding & changing games – addictive
- Designing own games (red = Social Context – involvement in a deeper way)
- good choices / consequences
- designed for systemic understanding
- transgression / can’t do in real life –
- immersion strategy
- inspire creativity
- ramp from consumer to producer smooth
- are the biases interesting one
How do we make GOOD learning games? Need to understand
- What do we mean by games?
- What do we mean by learning?
- How do we learn through games?
Observe – action – reaction- practice – evaluate- re apply understanding-
Kids become interested in information gathering and developing personal expertise.
Games need to be matched to the curriculum. They need to be
- Purposeful and carefully designed
- Interest driven – concentrated work – satisfaction
- Tasks have to be freely chosen – Montessori
Signs of normalisation in a classroom are a love of:
- self discpline
For students to be game designers the tasks they are undertaking need to be authentic. It is the authenticity that makes the difference. The game that is an add on to the curriculum and does not grow out of quality teaching practices and the curriculum has little validity.