Tuesday, April 12, 2005

NMSU Learning Games Initiative

Our Learning Games Initiative at New Mexico State University has begun. While we've been involved in interactive game development for some time, this is my attempt to bring people from other academic fields into that process. My goals for the initiative are simple: enable discussion, practice, development and research on learning through game play. I'm thrilled that we have interest in the initiative from several disciplines.

The Learning Games Initiative includes:
• Design and production of games and simulations in all content areas.
• Research and evaluation of effectiveness on learning and achievement through games and simulations
• Collaborative work with informal educator
• Instruction and teacher workshops in utilizing games and simulations for learning in the classroom
• The Learning Games Lab, an exploratory environment where game players engage in a wide variety of games — in educational and other genres — reviewing games for computer, video consoles and portable devices. The lab includes:
- Research space for assessing, evaluating and understanding game play mechanics and the potential for education
- Focus group opportunities for evaluating newly designed games, interfaces and prototypes.
- Library of games for evaluating trends and understanding new formats.
- Development environment for students to learn through programming and design of games, exposure to potential careers, and the math, science and art of game design.

This summer, we'll draft youth to serve as "Game Play Interns". We'll work with these mid-school kids to develop evaluation protocols for the initiative, designing processes to use as we bring the lab up to a full-time activity. We're continuing work on several games for this age group, and look forward to using them as consultants on the game design. I believe this will be a great two-month trial period for designing a Learning Game Lab that informs game developers as they develop games, and assist youth in their critical thinking and assessment skills. I'll be giving this game lab a lot of attention in future posts as we ponder the best approach.

1 Comments:

At 11:58 AM, Blogger harry said...

You know, we might do put together a games initiative portfolio that is a beginning for looking at the issues/categories that were raised by both you and CC. We could begin the collaborative effort by posting some or our products already out there. Something like - gaming.nmsu.edu?

HLS

 

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