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Subject: Game design activity based on Love Letter rss

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Mike Petty
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I've been creating some "game project packs" to allow students to make non-digital games based on classroom content. These are simple game systems, most of which I design, and some lesson materials teachers can tweak for their class content.

I just created one based on Love Letter. (I got permission from AEG to do this.) I'll be glad to hear any feedback on the project.

The activity lends itself mostly to language arts content or social studies, but with some creativity I think teachers could use it in many lessons.

In the first part, students learn to play the game. I always choose games with very few components, simple rules, short playing time and something that will probably be new to most students. The blog post for this is here: http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2016/09/game-desig...


Next they apply a theme to the game based on the lesson content. A planning sheet requires them to think about people, events and other elements of the lesson and how it can be represented within the game. That post is here: http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2016/09/game-desig...

After that, they make the components and test the games. You can find that post here: http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2016/09/game-desig...

I don't have the fourth post done for this particular game yet, but it's a reflection activity that requires the students to think about game design and the lesson.

As I said, any comments are welcome!
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Desi W.
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I like it!
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Xanthe
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I really like your approach. I'm reading through other posts of yours.

I'm going to borrow some of your ideas for a game design merit badge workshop I'm hosting for Boy Scouts. I think giving constructive criticism after play testing is something we'll need to talk about before we start. We want to keep this friendly but also helpful.


I already wrote up a basic play testing response form but I may make some changes inspired by what you have on your website. So far, the scouts I have worked with have had no problem coming up with games, it's the rules writing and blind play testing requirements trip them up. I'm hoping having a workshop day to swap games to play test will help them be more productive.
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Naomi Ooooooooo

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Very cool. I think I'm going to do what all great educators I know do. Copy the idea and use it in my class. Thanks.
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Mike Petty
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I just posted the final (short) post about the reflection at the end of the activity.

http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2016/09/game-desig...

I really appreciate the thoughts from teachers so far! A few additional things worth mentioning:

-I'm preparing this for a presentation at a couple ed-tech conferences. The tech part is mostly that it can be created and managed within Google Apps.

-There's nothing terribly innovative about a "make a game" activity for a class topic. I've seen teachers do this for years. What I hope I'm adding are these things:
--Simple, novel games that expand student experiences beyond Monopoly and trivia games
--Games with minimal components along with necessary templates
--Lesson resources that require students to dig deeper into the material as opposed to superficial knowledge questions
--Flexibility so teachers can make it take as long or short as necessary to fit the needs of their class
--Final games that are short enough they'll actually be played all the way through
--Eventually, resources for students who want to go further with their study of game design and links to print-on-demand services like The Game Crafter

Also, I purposely didn't focus on digital game design because (even with simple tools that are available) most teachers don't have time to let students learn the programming piece.
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Naomi Ooooooooo

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I'll be following you... as a teacher I have seen students who haven't been responding to the usual get interested and curious again with games. We are currently preparing to practice resume writing... using the results of a game of CV. It will be interesting to see the results (rarely the case of resumes in a village of 350 with students that have a very limited idea of resumes and experience to list in them).
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Desi W.
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mpetty31 wrote:

--Lesson resources that require students to dig deeper into the material as opposed to superficial knowledge questions


This is the feature that captures my interest. I teach Humanities, which is so broad. This activity gets students to narrow in on a topic, and like you said, to dig deeper and engage with the content in a manner that puts them in the position of the expert. You must have a solid grasp of the material in order to apply its themes, people, and events into the creation of a game. And they're actively learning while having fun.

Ditto what Naomi said: I want to copy this idea. I think "Love Letter" is a great pick because it is so easily re-themed.
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Mike Petty
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I had a chance to try this project out in high school Mythology. It was well received. I am working with some middle school students next week with a similar project. I'll write something up soon that shows examples.

I decided to move these resources over to their own site. I went live with it tonight to get feedback and to share it with some educators tomorrow. Any comments or questions will be greatly appreciated.

http://classroomgamedesign.blogspot.com/

And I expect to have two or three more "base games" there by the end of October.
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