Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Game Design Consultants

Plans are underway for our Game Design Summer School this summer. The Game Design Summer School includes:

  • 10 kids, ages 12-14. 5 girls and 5 boys who will serve as Game Design Consultants
  • Monday-Thursday, 2-5pm for 3 weeks

Participants will:

  • Get to know each others and their teachers: we’ll work to create an environment where kids feel comfortable to share ideas and brainstorm openly
  • Play games: consultants will play educational and non-educational games, Internet and game-box, even analog games
  • Build skills in evaluation and review: consultants will develop vocabulary regarding game play, develop skills in discussing and evaluating games.
  • Share their findings with others: in reviewing games and participating in game design, consultants will develop ability to share their reviews, ideas and suggestions through presentations, writing and other tools.
  • Document their views and learning: using a variety of assessment, such as video diaries, focus groups, interviews, presentations and written tools, consultants will document their views on existing games, ideas on games in progress, and their progress in learning skills.
  • Consult on games in progress: consultants will participate in some design sessions on two games in progress.

We are using this 3-week session as a prototype for future programs. Expected outcomes from session:

  • Guidelines for developing after school program in the fall. How important are snacks? How long does it take for the students to become familiar with speaking in front of each other? What kind of discipline problems can we expect? What kinds of activities are best for building skill in evaluating games? How long should we meet at a time. What is the optimum number of participants? What roles do the teachers play? How should the room be set up? What equipment is essential?
  • Develop protocol for formative evaluation. We do a lot of formative evaluation, but rarely with a consistent group of kids. If we were to do formative evaluation for an outside games development team, what processes should be put into place? How can we prepare data for client?
  • Develop process for summative evaluation. How do we structure evaluation of games for kids? What do written forms look like? How are data compiled? What form is best for what kinds of data: video, written, interview?


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