Monday, January 09, 2006

Another "Games to Move" idea

Another idea I had over the weekend for games to get kids (adults?) moving would be to have a collectible card game which allows players to play cards that force each other to get up and perform an action. If this could be incorporated into the game mechanics, it would be even better.

For instance, suppose the game were similar in theme to Wizards of the Coast's popular CCG Magic: The Gathering, where players deploy creatures and spells to do battle. If, instead of using preset rules to determine the outcome of such battles, the game used a "rock-paper-scissors" sort of mechanism, but which required full-body motion rather than just a couple of fingers, then there'd be some stand-up-and-jump action for each contest. The game could be made more interesting by adding more options than just rock, paper, and scissors. (Note that with a webcam, this sort of gameplay could even be extended to video games.)

We tinkered with the idea of a CCG for the Digital Desert Library project, but it never really got off the ground. One way in which this CCG idea be used would be to allow kids to "find" new cards as they move through our various health and nutrition websites and complete tasks. The NeoPets casual gaming site uses this mechanism to reward kids for trying new things and exploring the site. Other things could be triggered to unlock cards, such as completing online activities, participating in the step tracker, or even finding them in various monster lairs in the dance mat RPG. In addition, we could give unlock codes to teachers to reward in-class participation.


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