Video Game Design: Playing for Assessment

Video Game Design 2021We’re nearing the end of our Video Game Design project and so, my task as a teacher was to play their stories which are video games, and that meant playing nearly 60 games.

Many were very interesting — with cool design features and narrative frames set into levels in meaningful ways. Others were lacking enough story, which was a focus every single day in class as they worked.

I assess the projects along two strands — the design of the game (playability, choices around challenges and tools, flow of the game, etc.) and story (consistency of narrative, the reader is a player in a story, proofreading/editing, etc.)

Overall, I was impressed by how they were able to juggle the Hero’s Journey framework of story with the design of video games inside Gamestar Mechanic. And all of my students were highly engaged in this project, from start to finish.

And as always, we did a lot of writing beyond the game design itself. I made this a few years back for a presentation and most of these writing assignments are still central to this particular project.

Writing Activities in Video Game Design unit (update 2017)

Peace (leveling up),

Slice of Life: The Long Tail Of The Daily Create

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I start most of my mornings with two acts of art — I try to write a daily small poem and I try to create some kind of art with the DS106 Daily Create.

As my friend and Daily Create mechanic, Alan Levine, brings the new year into a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Daily Create (which started as part of an online digital storytelling class and then morphed into an open call for being creative), I realized that I have completed 2,170 works of art (a term I use roughly, some days) and how powerful it has been to be inspired and motivated to create something new every single day.

What does that number translate into? It is three hundred and ten weeks. Or nearly six years. Mostly, it’s daily, but at the start, it was sort of hit or miss for me.  I came and did a prompt when I was interested, and then at some point, it became my daily practice. Some mornings, I am making illustrations. Others, I am sharing some writing. Or remix, or music, or something, anything, loosely affiliated with the daily prompts that come on Twitter and at the Daily Create website.

I learned about the Daily Create from a friend, Karen F., who was a collaborator in the CLMOOC experience. Later, I even adapted the concept of the daily prompt to something called The Daily Connector that we used in CLMOOC and other connected learning experiences. Sometimes, a prompt at the Daily Create dovetails and connects with other projects. Others have done the same with replicating the experience of a daily invitation, and the Daily Create has a long tail of inspiration.

Meanwhile, contributors, like myself, feed back into the system — submitting ideas for Daily Creates, as the baton of administration of the site gets passed from one person to another over time (sometimes, it is a college professor who uses the Daily Creates for daily writing for their students, exposing them to the idea of making and sharing work in a social media experience).

I get a real sense of being curious and creative each morning by the Daily Creates, as I work on a quick prompt (they are designed to be no more than 10 or 15 minutes to complete) and that helps me situate myself for other writing activities or for thinking about teaching that day. It also invites me to try platforms and other tools that I might otherwise not have known about.

Peace (making art),

Curated Collection: Silent Sundays

This video gathers together 12 of my favorite Silent Sunday images from the past year (2021)  — one chosen from each month — with an original piece of music as soundtrack. I’ve enjoyed the Sundays, and the days leading up to them, when I am attuned to the world through the lens of the camera lens.

Peace (in the quiet),

CLMOOC 2022 Calendar Creation Collaboration

I was so happy when Wendy and others put out the call for another Collaborative Calendar for CLMOOC — it’s a lovely way to end a difficult year and to find a way forward into the new year.

Download a free copy of the calendar, which has art, photographs, music and more from people from all around the world, all loosely connected to the CLMOOC experience of making art, sharing ideas, remixing with appreciation, and more.

Go to CLMOOC to get your own copy

Peace (in a new year),