The Games They Play

Have you ever asked your students what kind of games they play outside of school? I did, mainly because we are moving into a game design unit next week and I was curious about what games they like to do in their own time. I told them it could be video games, board games, playground games, whatever. The list I got from my students included a lot of games I know but also, a lot I don’t know.

The one that kept popping up on some lists was Minecraft, and I have one student who is constantly talking to me about it. I don’t know much about it, other than what I have read in magazines and what my student has talked to me about. But I think I might need to delve into the world-building game a bit more, and my navigator might be my student. I was thinking of how I could have my student be the teacher in the classroom, showing me (and then, showing his peers) what Minecraft is all about.

I liked that Chess was on the list. There was a time when I taught my students how to play Chess, but I haven’t done that in some time. I’d like to do that again. (I am now teaching my seven year old son the game. It brings back memories of teaching my older sons, too, but now the oldest one kicks my butt every time. I may need to keep some tricks up my sleeve. At my younger son’s school, the principal sets aside time in his day to play Chess with students. I think that’s a great idea.)

What games do your students play? And why do they keep playing them? (which is really what I am after here, as we begin to think about how to engage a player in a game)

Peace (in the games),


  1. Kevin,

    Sounds like a great unit. I love the excitement that a discussion of favorite games brings to the classroom. Minecraft is an excellent game, too. In fact, many teachers are beginning to look at its potential in the classroom. Check out our wiki on the subject: http://

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