As usual, here’s my powerpoint slides from my presentation at the 2012 AAA conference:
I have been skeptical about educational games. I’ve also been skeptical about “serious games” (I used to say I was more interested in “frivolous games” but it never seemed to catch on). I’ve also been down on narrative in games.
So it should come as no surprised that last semester I taught a course on videogame narrative where I had students play games with narratives and serious games.
It was an interesting experience not only because I was teaching something I wasn’t super into but also because I had been working on my main teaching gig so much that I barely had time to create the syllabus for this class. So for the first time in many years I was teaching a week ahead of what I was reading.
It ended up being a fun class if a bit chaotic. I’ll post my syllabus below if anyone is interested in it.
I was most proud of how I turned educational games on their head. Instead of having students play educational games I had them make games that illustrate the concepts of the course and I think it worked really well.
I’m not a programmer and I didn’t want to set any expectations of my student’s computer skills so I had them use Twine. There was a learning curve so I had them make a basic game and I also made a little tutorial twine as well as a google doc with a bunch of twine resources.
The games they made weren’t super polished. We kind of ran out of time and if I teach it again I will really try to give them more time to revise it. However, they were really creative and interesting. So here are the games my students made.
Here is the calendar and readings for the class:
Back in the day I used to pirate a decent number of games but I don’t any more. It isn’t because I turned over a new leaf or stopped playing games. No, it is because I have so many free games that I can’t play them all. Between freebies that places like Humblebundle, Steam, and GoG give away from time to time and Twitch giving away games every month, I just don’t bother pirating games.
I used to either pirate a game or just wait until it was on sale but now I just play the free games or the same old games like Overwatch or even Civ V.
So maybe the solution to piracy isn’t DRM which only serves to inconvenience people who actually buy the game. Maybe the solution is just to give away so many games that you can’t play them all? I mean that might not work well for their bottom line but it has certainly has minimized my piracy…
I was taking care of some spam and thought I would post to prove I am still alive. I’m teaching at a community college and I’m trying to decide where I want to go with my professional life. I’m working on a couple things that I hope to get out in the next month or so.