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Creating Content for Classes

Follwing is a list of methods teachers and facilitators can use to create content for group activities using Gamestar Mechanic.

1. Teacher created content

    Many of the sample activities in this guide begin by calling upon students to play a game—digital or otherwise. Although there are already various types of games built into Gamestar Mechanic, we encourage teachers to create model games for use in their classes. Teacher-made games can be used to highlight certain game design principles, to simulate real world ideas, or to provide additional games for your class to play and discuss.

2. Create a game for someone else


    One of the more exciting activities in Gamestar Mechanic is to see a game you’ve designed come to life. But beginning game designers often overlook the fact that game design is focused on the design of games for others—for players. In order to encourage budding game designers to consider their audience we suggest challenging students to regularly create games for other people, including classmates, friends, or family members.

3. Pass it on

    In order to encourage cooperation and taking on the perspective of others, try using a “pass it on” method in class. This method encourages students to work piecemeal on projects by accomplishing certain design goals before passing the project on to a classmate, who will continue the design process. Be warned though! Your students may become attached to the work they have done and any change in that work may cause tension among the group. If you use this method make sure you encourage teamwork and offer groups the chance to negotiate their ideas with one another around a shared set of criteria.

4. Class suggestions

    Not sure what to do next? Ask your class. Involve students in creating content for game design challenges. Keep a list of these challenges and reuse them when you see fit.

5. Creating class criteria for peer evaluation

    One of the assessment methods established at the onset of this project was having kids co-create a list of qualities that they felt described a good game. A sample list of criteria is included in this guide, (p. 48) but every group of kids will come up with a slightly different list. Establishing a clear and shared set of criteria by which students evaluate games—both their own and those made by their peers—is a critical part of the learning approach offered here.

6. Don’t forget the community

    One of the great things about Gamestar Mechanic is that it rewards students for posting user-generated content—the games they make. Encourage students to play other people’s games. You never know what kinds of great examples they’ll find. Don’t forget that you can also follow individual student mechanics on the Gamestar Mechanic community if you run across someone whose games you want to track.
    Students can also share the games they make with people outside of the Gamestar community.

 


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