This morning, we start the first day of our Game Design Camp for middle school students that is being co-sponsored by our Western Massachusetts Writing Project and a local vocational high school.
Yeah, I am a little nervous because this is something entirely new and my camp partner, Tina, and I are wading into relatively unknown terrain. We actually had a very funny email exchange yesterday in which Tina was working her way through some challenges at the Gamestar Mechanic site and she thought she needed some help through a particular level. So, here I am, trying to envision where she might be as she is trying to explain where she is in the game system, and we’re both feeling like teenagers caught up in video game fever.
‘Cept it was the Fourth of July and beautiful outside, and really … video games? But they are engaging games and you do get caught up in the idea of the challenge and of moving ahead. It’s no wonder we tag the label of “addictive” to gaming at time for some kids. There’s a real tangible thrill in overcoming a level, and in Gamestar Mechanic, every level you play earns you more tools to create your own games.
(Tina got through her difficult level, through no help from me. Just thought she needed some props here.)
This morning, our plan is to:
- Introduce ourselves and slight history of gaming
- Share out the top three best games that they love to play and three reasons why a game is “good” (on notecards)
- Work in collaborative groups on a non-tech game and then play each other’s games
- Watch a documentary DVD about the history of gaming
- Play some ‘old style’ games, such as PacMan, Donkey Kong, etc.
- If time, get signed in and fool around with Gamestar Mechanic
I am going to try to photo document as much as I can and intend to (if time) do more videotape reflections about the camp experience.
Peace (in the camp),