Getting Started with Engagement Games

Report
Getting Started with
Engagement Games
A presentation deck for training educators
on the Project MASH engagement games
process, from the Engagement Lab.
90-minute version
Quick Play: Mod Rock, Paper, Scissors
TIME
15 minutes
Modification of existing game elements is a common
strategy for creating new games.
Most of us know the game, “Rock, Paper, Scissors.”
1. Work in groups of 3-5 to mod the game to make it
more fun. For example, you could change the
rules, or the kinds of actions players take, the
theme (e.g., using aliens, bombs, or magic spells
instead of rock/paper/scissors).
2. Play another group’s mod.
Today’s explorations
Introduce engagement games. (15 min.)
Experience games first-hand. Understand.
Do. Share & Reflect. (60 min.)
Activate academic connections. (15 min)
What is play?
Play is activity in which means are more
valued than ends.
Play is non-literal, imaginative, marked off in
some way from reality (aka magic circle).
Play & Games
And for children, the distinction
between play and “real life” can be
blurry or change on a whim.
Games structure the “magic circle” of play
with goals and guidelines for action.
Games help us harness the power of play
to:
• Foster learning and empathy (which
are necessary to develop strategy)
• Build social norms (i.e., competition
and cooperation)
Elements of a game
Objective and feedback: What does it mean to win?
How to players evaluate their progress?
Actions/mechanics: What actions can players take,
and how does this move the game forward? What
are the obstacles?
Clear rules/boundaries: What are the limits on
player choice? What games are/are not allowed?
...and room to play: uncertainty, choice, strategy and
interaction
Ready to create your own
game?
Explore engagement games with an activity
from Project MASH.
Race to the End
An Engagement Games Activity from Project MASH
Many games, both board games and physical games,
involve a race to the end.
Players are confronted with certain obstacles and given
constraints about how they can move forward, and then the
race is on!
In this activity you’ll create your own Race to the End
game.
11
Define
 Your game board (space as small as a piece of paper or
as large as the room)
 Theme: What is your game about?
 Objective and feedback: What does it mean to win?
How do players evaluate their progress?
 Actions/mechanics: What actions can players take, and
how does this move the game forward? What are the
obstacles?
 Clear rules/boundaries: What are the limits on player
choice? What games are/are not allowed?
 Name of your game
Create It!
TIME 25 min
Step 1: Create your game.
Step 3: Play-test it.
Step 4: Write a description of your game so others can
play:
 What is the goal? How do you win? What are player
actions, a.k.a. mechanics? What rules guide these
actions?
Project Share: Play!
TIME 10 minutes
Each group plays the game created by
another group.
Reflection & Discussion
TIME
5 minutes
Consider your group’s design and the other
group’s design:
 What elements of each worked for you?
 What would you like to change?
Common Core Connections
TIME 15 minutes
What connections do you see between game
design and the skills identified in the Common
Core State Standards?
What connections do you see between game
design and the knowledge foci supported by
the Common Core State Standards?
Some grade-level content connections include…
Math: Modeling, e.g., the probability of a certain outcome,
the path of the basketball
Science: “The science behind it,” e.g., why we get tired
when we run, what materials hold up well during play, the
workings of the terrain or climate
Language Arts: Write about the game, the design process,
or the play process.
Social Studies: Understand group dynamics throughout the
design process, draw connections to historical or
contemporary social processes
Engagement games offer an approach to teaching
and learning that is at the heart of Project MASH, a
social network for educators, students, and the
organizations that serve them.
Visit www.projectmash.org for student activities
and projects from the Engagement Lab and others
that rely on design thinking and other unique
teaching strategies.

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