Reflecting on the Design and Making Process (Two Options)
Option 1: Based on the game design game (in class), reflect on what and how you learned through the process of design. What ‘literacies’ were engaged, what concepts and ideas and practical knowledge were enacted (incidentally or explicitly) through the process of prototyping, fabrication and play-testing? Further, looking back at the readings (Fullerton) what explicit game concepts and game discourse practices (terms, vocabularies, concepts) were enacted and put into ‘action’ as your developed the game from brainstorming (ideation) and premise to goals to rules to initial playtesting and the revisioning (modding) of initial versions, etc.
Finally, can you make any “ludic” connections back to the previous readings on games, learning, and play (Nolan & McBride; Thumlert, de Castell, Jenson) – or any experience of “play” (paidia) itself that may have arisen through the process of game-making and learning (see page 100-104 in Fullerton, too)?
How was [any] experience of play [paidia] itself evident or manifest in the learning process, and what was the impact of play on learning, making, doing?
Step outside the ‘scene of action’, and analyze closely the nuances of the mechanics of learning….
De-Composing a Game Using Fullerton’s Book
Option 2: Hop online or grab a console game and, using the Playcentric Game Design Book (Chapters 1-3), analyze the elements of game play (as articulated in the text). What is the premise of the game, the goal and/or win conditions, player relations to one another (if multiplayer), player relations to non-player characters, use of narrative, use of simulation or world-building, rule sets and systems, key mechanic(s), challenges and obstacles, or any other concept or categories in the text. In a sense, try to “reverse engineer” the design elements as you play and (meta) reflect and why/how the game works, why/how it is engaging, keeps you going…You can also critique the designers, too!
Next, as you play and analyze the game, identify what and how people learn (incidentally or explicitly) through game play. Think also beyond traditional “content learning” to other dimensions of learning and experience (e.g. what and how people learn within immersive simulations). This includes looking at ALL of the elements/experiences where literacy and learning practices are “in play”, from constructing avatars to cutscenes to interacting with interfaces and even other players on or off-online.