Thursday, March 28, 2013

Using video game design for education

Gamestar Mechanic Website

In his Edutopia blog post, teacher Andrew Proto discussed the online tool Gamestar Mechanic to use video game design for education.

Gamestar Mechanic is a browser-based tutorial for video game design. After an interactive tutorial about game mechanics (such as setting goals for your players, having clearly defined rules, and different styles of games), students can use a simple drag-and-drop interface to create their games. Students can share their games with the Gamestar community to get feedback.

Gamestar mechanics has been named one of the American Association of School Librarians Best Educational Websites of 2012.

For teachers, Gamestar Mechanic offers instructional material at offers teachers a discount for classrooms, with student registration available at a fraction of the normal cost.

Andrew Proto suggests that video game design projects can be used in an variety of subjects. For example:
  • After reading a book in class, have your students recreate major scenes in the form of a video game.
  • Ask students to design a game that teaches other students a specific scientific concept you've been studying.
  • After studying ratios, ask students to create a game that contains a certain ratio of coins (for the player to collect) to enemies.
  • Recreate famous myths from different cultures that have been studied in history class.
  • Have students create a game that consists of a level for each stage in a butterfly's life cycle.

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