Michael A. Hawker and Brett Wortzman presented this talk at PAXDev 2014 about how non-educational games can have educational value in the classroom. Synopsis:
In the early nineties, traditional educational games such as Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail pioneered the way for learning to be fun (and taught us that you can only carry 200 pounds of meat back to your wagon). Since then, the educational games market has not borne the same success as today’s major game franchises. However, it is possible for ‘traditional’ games not specifically designed to be educational to have curricular value. We will show how we have used a wide range of games and game concepts to provide a familiar context for students to engage with new material and principles of Computer Science. In addition, we will discuss how game professionals can find a place for their games in the classroom.
Today, we released our latest game ‘Afoot: Sins of the Flesh’ on the Game Crafter.
Afoot is a two to four player mystery memory game that can be played in 20-30 minutes. It adds strategic components to the traditional game of Memory as well as the deductive reasoning and logic of solving a murder mystery from Clue (without having to run around a mansion). The pace of play is quick and keeps everyone engaged as paying attention at all times is important while you try to solve the mystery and earn points.
We’re excited to release this one and hope you’ll track us down at PAX to give it a try!
Space Battle 2014 was a success. More details will follow on this post in the near future.
Be on the lookout for updated classroom materials in the coming month at http://battlearena.mikeware.com/.
And if you’re coming to PAX Dev, be sure to check out our talk this year: You Have Died of Dysentery: Games in Education Are Still Alive.
Our ‘First Play’ series announced before in March is now starting a Patreon campaign here.
Patreon is a site where Patrons can support ongoing projects by pledging funds per piece of content created.
If you enjoy watching ‘First Play’ be sure to go support the project and get access to additional benefits.
Today, we introduce you to a new gamemode-in-a-box for Minecraft: Master Hardcore Mode.
Master Hardcore mode adds three additional game rules:
- It’s always nighttime (after the first bit of day)
- You don’t get food from animals
- You can’t craft normal chests
Be sure to tune in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for new episodes.
You may have seen our ‘Ships in Space‘ videos before. We’re happy to finally release the materials for Space Battle Arena v0.9.
Space Battle Arena is a ‘Programming Game‘ where students must write code (in Java) to control a space ship to accomplish specified tasks. We have performed this project and its challenge two years running now with great success. Students have been enthusiastic, excited, and engaged with learning to control a ship in a physical environment and comparing strategies against their fellow students in a fun competition.
Check out the Let’s Play video of Gamius Type IV we found:
We want to thank SnoodLounge for making their great Let’s Play video of our game!
You may remember our video from last year Ships in Space. We continued our foray in space this year and upped the ante.
Once again students were tasked with creating their own autonomous space ships which could navigate the harsh physics of space on their own without their programmer’s interaction. However, unlike last year where they simply had to collect Baubles to score points, this year, they had to bring the Baubles back to their home base before points would be scored.
We also had the opportunity to add weapons and shields to the mix, which created a whole other set of strategies as destroyed ships would drop their Bauble payload.
Above is a video of a final round of one of the classes which came down to a matter of seconds. It was quite exciting!