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: