I'm not a big gamer. Back in the early 90's I had a bit of an obsession with The Legend of Zelda for Nintendo. When my son was around 7, I had fun playing Crash Banidcoot with him on our Playstation. A couple of summer's ago I became completely obsessed with Plants vs. Zombies. Last year, it was Words with Friends and Candy Crush. I have fun with a game for awhile and then the reality of life kicks back in and I realize I have way more important things to do than play games.
When I decided to pilot a game design elective with Middle School students this year, I was really stepping outside of my comfort zone. Just because you've played a few games does not mean you know the first thing about designing them. Teaching others how to design games seemed a bit of a stretch.
Gamestar Mechanic would be the best resource to help me create this course. Gamestar Mechanic is a very structured program that focuses on game design rather than coding and is a great jumping off point for students (and teachers who are unsure of the process themselves) into the world of digital media creation. It has a very comprehensive instructional guide and does not require a teacher to have a background in game design. The cost of this program is minimal and students keep their account even after the course is completed. This section of my blog will document some reflections about the pilot course this fall and allow me to share some of the processes and resources that I have created along the way. Feel free to use or modify anything I have here for your own purposes and please share with me your own experiences in implementing this type of course.
Resources and Information
Course structure and grading
Incorporating 21st Century Skills
Game Industry Mentors
Contests, Challenges & Events