Educational Games

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:

Monday, August 27, 2018cambridge intro to narrativeAdam Cadre’s Interactive Fiction Tutorial
Wednesday, August 29, 2018zork lebling1979 and Interactive Fiction how is it differentThe Time Machine: A Chad, Matt & Rob Interactive Adventure!
Wednesday, September 5, 2018Narrative interactivity play and games ZimmermanZork
Monday, September 10, 2018Half-Real Juul IntroductionChoices
Wednesday, September 12, 2018Half-Real Juul Chapter 2
Monday, September 17, 2018Half-Real Juul Chapter 4dys4ia
Wednesday, September 19, 2018Games Telling stories
Monday, September 24, 2018Ludology meet narratologyWe Become What We Behold
Wednesday, September 26, 2018gamestorytelling and breaking the string costikyan
Monday, October 1, 2018Video Games Are Better Without StoriesMy Horse Prince
Wednesday, October 3, 2018Character Development chapter 7 
Monday, October 8, 2018Character Development chapter 14The Future of Football 17776
Wednesday, October 10, 2018Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine Excerpts2018-10-05-nohighlights.docx 
Monday, October 15, 2018Doki Doki Literature Club
Wednesday, October 24, 2018Character Development sections.docx 
Monday, October 29, 2018Character Development chapter 12Her Story
Wednesday, October 31, 2018interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 2
Monday, November 5, 2018interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 4A Normal Lost Phone
Wednesday, November 7, 2018interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 5
Monday, November 12, 2018Video Game Storytelling – Evan Skolnick excerpts80 days
Wednesday, November 14, 2018SLAY THE DRAGON chapter 2Class Prep Activityalpha of group game due playtesting game
Monday, November 26, 2018SLAY THE DRAGON chapter 3Gone Home
Wednesday, November 28, 2018SLAY THE DRAGON chapter 6

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