Our Favorite Games - Educational Gaming Commons

Report
Our Favorite Games:
(Dibs on Candy Crush!)
Applying Lessons of “Fun Games” to the
Classroom
May 13, 2014
Elizabeth Pyatt
[email protected]
Such as Candy Crush
 Match
3 candies
to clear
Match 4 = striped
 Match 5 = bomb

 Like

“Bejeweled”
but with more
sucrose
What I like

Casual


No can die


(each round is short)
Except my iPad
Many gameboard
variations

Blockers:




Jelly, Licorice Cage,
Chocolate, Meringue,
Chocolate Meringue…
Goals: Points, Clear Jelly,
Get combos
Board layouts (w/ portals)
Ooh a RAINBOW
Now some Pedagogy
 Mastery
Learning
 Collaborative Learning

Combined with individual learning
Mastery Learning

Achieve Minimal Score before moving
to next Lesson


AKA complete level 1 before level 2
Scaffolding

Each level introduces new element


Zone of Proximal Development
Adding a touch of difficulty adds interest
Too little is boring
 Too much causes gamers to quit

Classic
Leveling Up
Pac Man Maze levels
Pac Man 5D which presents a
variable 3D grid. Invented by
a Russian gamer.
Planning Levels
 Some

introduce new obstacle
Level groups often focus on one new
obstacle in different combos
 Most
COMBINE obstacles
Like real life STEM problems
 Requires tactical thought
 And CHANGING strategies per level

Level 181
 Goal:
Bring 2 cherries to
bottom
 Need to blast 4
rows 18 times
 Also need to clear
board of
meringues first to
make moves

Collaborative Learning
 No
direct team
play BUT

Many discussion
boards, wikis,
YouTube videos
 Almost
no
official
instructions
Your Favorite Games?
Other Lessons
Physics (Ballistics)
http://technobento.ca/angry-birds-and-teaching-part-2-assessment-feedback-andmotivating-mastery/
Team Playing (Neverwinter
Nights)
Group Learning

World of Warcraft



Discuss strategy, plan missions
Make trades
Compile notes



http://www.wowwiki.com/
Practice English grammar
Econ in Outer Space

A game in which students build a modern
economy from scratch post spacecraft wreck

ECON 201, UNC Greensboro
Role Play
Empathy/Affect

What’s it like to be another person?


“Warrior” is a common role BUT
Business Administrator


Bucket of Beans (S. Pacific Reciprocity)


Sims & ECON 102 Sims (Campus)
Players learn the value of “cashing in” favors
StarPower
Establish an arbitrary upper class via trades
 This class can establish new rules



BEWARE
http://www.stsintl.com/schoolscharities/star_power.html
Quests and Missions
Pot Assembly Required
PBL/Challenge Based
Learning
 Games
are often won by solving
problems

AKA “Quests” or “Missions”
 Educational
Quests
Beer Distribution Game (used in Smeal)
 Oregon Trail


Rare educational game that was a commercial
success
Simulation Genres
 God

Game
Game in which players control parameter
of universe (e.g. Sim Games)
 History
Sims
Age of Empires
 Trial of Lizzie Borden (U Mass)

 Science

Simulations
Flight Simulator, Spore
Oregon Trail

Goal: Teach about life on the Oregon Trail
Life on the Oregon Trail is very
hazardous, requires careful planning,
and crosses a variety of terrain
SimHealth
Played as part of HPA 101
Shoot To Kill
“Drill and Kill”
 Games
encourage
practice



And automaticity of
skills
Such as pattern
recognition
But with fun
graphics & music
Failing can be Funny
When games are required…
Survive annihalation. Win
free nail polish for life?
Can we still have fun?

Low Stakes vs High Stakes


Students do enjoy





Games (low stakes) + reflection (higher)
Change from lecture/quiz
Leader Boards (when low stakes)
Games if logistics not too burdensome
A certain level of goofiness or joie de vivre
Game may teach crucial skill

So maybe we do require it anyway
Can we allow more “failure”?
 Games

Because they allow resets
 Games

teach via mistakes
are “better than reality”
Although we may need to teach about
reality as well….
Thinking Game Goals
 Games
can allow for:
Strategic/Systems thinking
 Experience as a different person
 Add motivation
 Practice of low level skills/knowledge

 Games

don’t
Convey content (except in the
“narrative”)
Quick Starts
 Casual

Games
Hangman/Peril/Typo

http://gaming.psu.edu
PowerPoint Templates
 ANGEL games (crossword/match)

 Gamification

Badges? Quests?
 Case
Studies (gussied up)?
Fun Play
 Find
the challenge “sweet spot”
Not too easy or too difficult
 Challenging gun for faculty ≠ fun for
students

 Allow

Graphics, sound effects, puns
 Allow

for goofiness
for some “low stakery”
Can activities be replayed?
What do you mean “goofy”?
 Many
use great cartoons but do we
Show warriors fleeing the scene after a
mistranslation?
 Simulate explosions in engineering?
 Turn ourselves into an avatar?
 Turn homework into “quests” or
“missions?



Add game graphics to assignments?
Allow students to earn points towards
late assignment submissions?
Explaining Functions w/Subs

Using cash register buttons as metaphors
for algebraic functions in Math 21
Starring Deb
Mirdamadi,
Mont Alto
Campus
Angry Bird Refs
The ‘Angry Birds’ Guide to Online Lesson
Design
http://tedcurran.net/2011/02/14/angrybirds-guide-to-online-lesson-design/
 Angry Birds and Teaching Part 2: Assessment
Feedback
http://technobento.ca/angry-birds-andteaching-part-2-assessment-feedback-andmotivating-mastery/

Some References

McGonigal, Jane


James Paul Gee


What Video Games Have to Teach Us about
Learning and Literacy
Koster, Ralph


Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better.
A Theory of Fun
Bartle, Richard (player types)

Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who
Suit MUDs

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