Peer Review and Video Game Design

As we consider ways to connect the writing process to the game design process, I keep reminding my sixth graders of the iterative design of video game development (which my science colleague is also tying in nicely to the scientific engineering design process) and one of those phases is using “testers” to try to “break the game,” as I put it. This means having a third-party player sit down and play the game, and find its strengths and weaknesses from an objective position.

There is no doubt that they are building games for their peers with this project. If I had a dollar for every “come here, I want to show you this level of my game” that I hear during our classtime, I would have a nice bundle of cash. I wish I could sit and play more of their games under development, too, but I am often wandering the room, helping individuals with their work or finding some workarounds for any technology glitches that occur (and they do occur, but we mostly refuse to get ruffled by it).

Tomorrow, we’re going to work this into our class, and the model will be the peer review of writing model. I’ve come up with a graphic organizer to make it easier for the players to leave constructive feedback for the game developers, and we will be rotating around the room, playing and offering feedback. From there, the developers will need to consider the input and make revisions to strengthen the game.

The reviewers are look at the game through the multiple lenses of:

  • Overall Rating
  • Overall Difficulty
  • Gameplay
  • Story Narrative
  • Visuals
  • and notes for the developer

Here is my basic template (which I adapted from the way users can provide input on Gamestar Mechanic):
Peer Review of Video Games
Here is one that I did as an exemplar to show as a sample:
Peer Review of Video Games Exemplar
Peace (in the peer review process),


One Comment
  1. Thank You for sharing your Game Design process and materials. I found Gamestar Mechanic through your blog and my students LOVE it! I am going to offer my students the opportunity to submit a game to their contest and your materials are very helpful in making sure my students are getting the best lessons possible.

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