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Our Favorite Games: (Dibs on Candy Crush!) Applying Lessons of “Fun Games” to the Classroom May 13, 2014 Elizabeth Pyatt

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Presentation on theme: "Our Favorite Games: (Dibs on Candy Crush!) Applying Lessons of “Fun Games” to the Classroom May 13, 2014 Elizabeth Pyatt"— Presentation transcript:

1 Our Favorite Games: (Dibs on Candy Crush!) Applying Lessons of “Fun Games” to the Classroom May 13, 2014 Elizabeth Pyatt

2 Such as Candy Crush  Match 3 candies to clear  Match 4 = striped  Match 5 = bomb  Like “Bejeweled”  but with more sucrose

3 What I like  Casual  (each round is short)  No can die  Except my iPad  Many gameboard variations  Blockers:  Jelly, Licorice Cage, Chocolate, Meringue, Chocolate Meringue…  Goals: Points, Clear Jelly, Get combos  Board layouts (w/ portals)  Ooh a RAINBOW

4 Now some Pedagogy  Mastery Learning  Collaborative Learning  Combined with individual learning

5 Mastery Learning  Achieve Minimal Score before moving to next Lesson  AKA complete level 1 before level 2  Scaffolding  Each level introduces new element  Zone of Proximal Development  Adding a touch of difficulty adds interest  Too little is boring  Too much causes gamers to quit

6 Classic Leveling Up Pac Man Maze levels Pac Man 5D which presents a variable 3D grid. Invented by a Russian gamer.

7 Planning Levels  Some introduce new obstacle  Level groups often focus on one new obstacle in different combos  Most COMBINE obstacles  Like real life STEM problems  Requires tactical thought  And CHANGING strategies per level

8 Level 181  Goal:  Bring 2 cherries to bottom  Need to blast 4 rows 18 times  Also need to clear board of meringues first to make moves

9 Collaborative Learning  No direct team play BUT  Many discussion boards, wikis, YouTube videos  Almost no official instructions

10 Your Favorite Games?

11 Other Lessons

12 Physics (Ballistics) motivating-mastery/

13 Team Playing (Neverwinter Nights)

14 Group Learning  World of Warcraft  Discuss strategy, plan missions  Make trades  Compile notes   Practice English grammar  Econ in Outer Space  A game in which students build a modern economy from scratch post spacecraft wreck  ECON 201, UNC Greensboro

15 Role Play

16 Empathy/Affect  What’s it like to be another person?  “Warrior” is a common role BUT  Business Administrator  Sims & ECON 102 Sims (Campus)  Bucket of Beans (S. Pacific Reciprocity)  Players learn the value of “cashing in” favors  StarPower  Establish an arbitrary upper class via trades  This class can establish new rules  BEWARE  charities/star_power.html charities/star_power.html

17 Quests and Missions

18 Pot Assembly Required

19 PBL/Challenge Based Learning  Games are often won by solving problems  AKA “Quests” or “Missions”  Educational Quests  Beer Distribution Game (used in Smeal)  Oregon Trail  Rare educational game that was a commercial success

20 Simulation Genres  God Game  Game in which players control parameter of universe (e.g. Sim Games)  History Sims  Age of Empires  Trial of Lizzie Borden (U Mass)  Science Simulations  Flight Simulator, Spore

21 Oregon Trail  Goal: Teach about life on the Oregon Trail Life on the Oregon Trail is very hazardous, requires careful planning, and crosses a variety of terrain

22 SimHealth Played as part of HPA 101

23 Shoot To Kill

24 “Drill and Kill”  Games encourage practice  And automaticity of skills  Such as pattern recognition  But with fun graphics & music

25 Failing can be Funny

26 When games are required… Survive annihalation. Win free nail polish for life?

27 Can we still have fun?  Low Stakes vs High Stakes  Games (low stakes) + reflection (higher)  Students do enjoy  Change from lecture/quiz  Leader Boards (when low stakes)  Games if logistics not too burdensome  A certain level of goofiness or joie de vivre  Game may teach crucial skill  So maybe we do require it anyway

28 Can we allow more “failure”?  Games teach via mistakes  Because they allow resets  Games are “better than reality”  Although we may need to teach about reality as well….

29 Thinking Game Goals  Games can allow for:  Strategic/Systems thinking  Experience as a different person  Add motivation  Practice of low level skills/knowledge  Games don’t  Convey content (except in the “narrative”)

30 Quick Starts  Casual Games  Hangman/Peril/Typo   PowerPoint Templates  ANGEL games (crossword/match)  Gamification  Badges? Quests?  Case Studies (gussied up)?

31 Fun Play  Find the challenge “sweet spot”  Not too easy or too difficult  Challenging gun for faculty ≠ fun for students  Allow for goofiness  Graphics, sound effects, puns  Allow for some “low stakery”  Can activities be replayed?

32 What do you mean “goofy”?  Many use great cartoons but do we  Show warriors fleeing the scene after a mistranslation?  Simulate explosions in engineering?  Turn ourselves into an avatar?  Turn homework into “quests” or “missions?  Add game graphics to assignments?  Allow students to earn points towards late assignment submissions?

33 Explaining Functions w/Subs  Using cash register buttons as metaphors for algebraic functions in Math 21 Starring Deb Mirdamadi, Mont Alto Campus

34 Angry Bird Refs  The ‘Angry Birds’ Guide to Online Lesson Design birds-guide-to-online-lesson-design/ birds-guide-to-online-lesson-design/  Angry Birds and Teaching Part 2: Assessment Feedback teaching-part-2-assessment-feedback-and- motivating-mastery/ teaching-part-2-assessment-feedback-and- motivating-mastery/

35 Some References  McGonigal, Jane  Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better.  James Paul Gee  What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy  Koster, Ralph  A Theory of Fun  Bartle, Richard (player types)  Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who Suit MUDs


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