Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 4: Agenda

  • 9:00am: PLAY SPORE!!!
  • 10:00am: Presentation by Chris Young on games & learning in the library. Q&A + Discussion of the role of educational (formal/informal) games in the library - how important (or unimportant) is this idea in building collections? For your playlists? In your game designs? Why?
    Time allowing: Debrief on the gameplay experience. Discussion of the game in relation to this week's readings, discussion of the concepts of "educational" games and "games as learning engines" (James Paul Gee's arguments), etc.
  • 11:00am: Group work.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week3: Games and Narrative


9-10: Playtime:
- This week's workshop starts with a session of Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor (Hint: PLAY ON JR DETECTIVE SETTING - it's way easier). For anyone who doesn't have a terminal, run up and get yourself a notebook - they should already have the game on them.

10-11: Discussion:
- Debrief on gameplay. Thoughts about linkages to readings and this week's themes.
- Chat about this week's readings (Bizzocchi - see below)

Q: What role will narrative play in your design-a-game projects? In your playlists??

11-12: Work on Projects:
Design-a-game - finish playing through the tutorials, get started on your game/level!!!
Playlist - should have a theme established by now. Start narrowing down your choices

Monday, January 23, 2012

Games as Story Worlds

In anticipation of tomorrow's workshop on narrative in games, here are the slides from a talk I gave on the topic, at last summer's TEDxLibrariansTO event:

Monday, January 16, 2012

1005: Winter 2012: Week 2

Agenda for Week2 Workshop

1. 9am-10am: Play "World of Goo"!!

2. 10am-11am: Group Discussion
  • Bryant article - thoughts on designing for particular users - special needs and vulnerabilities - troubling notions of "gamers" and/or "children" and/or "expertise"
  • Thoughts on the ESRB rating system - particularly the category "E for Everyone" (what does this mean, what are the underlying politics, etc.).
  • Meeting the groups: what are your initial ideas for playlist topics & design tools
3. 11am-12pm: Work on Projects

- Bryant et al.'s designing for preschoolers article (usability, design strategies, & later on...assessment)
- ESRB Rating Systems: thoughts on process, uses, problems, oversights, etc.
[Since we're going to be talking about the ESRB tomorrow, I thought I'd point out an article I wrote about the system last year for an online magazine (and good source for gaming news/reviews), The Escapist. In the article, I argue that the ESRB is running the risk of causing its own obsolescence - at the time, it became the centre of a small but fiery debate, both in the comments section of the magazine itself, as well as on other game community blogs and news sources. I later wrote a response on my blog, Gamine Expedition, which you can read here if you're interested.]

Possible Discussion points: 

  • Difference in the "process" each team goes through (Bryant et al. user-centered design, informed by theory, iterative process involving kids, parents) (ESRB coding videos of the games for certain types of content - yet "E" comes to mean so much more)
  • From preschoolers to elementary-age....big developmental changes. How would the challenges Bryant describes change over time - how to accommodate for this - how to anticipate without training in child development theory, child education, usability, etc.
  • Assessing and selecting - issues these articles might raise
  • Usability and user-centered processes - how can these concepts be incorporated into collection development OR research OR tech assessment

- World of Goo 
(As indicated on the syllabus, also relevant to this week's themes/readings are the Lego Star Wars games - a copy will be available for short term loan via course reserves at the Inforum later this semester).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Intro to the Workshop: Slides

Welcome Winter 2012 students of INF1005/6 Children's Digital Games Workshop

Hello and welcome to section 102 of the INF1005/1006 workshop series - Children's Digital Games. Please use this blog as an interactive syllabus. I will be using it throughout the semester to post additional information on the course, readings, games, assignments, as well as highlight any relevant current events, research, developments or ideas that may assist you in your journey through the workshop and its major themes. I'll also be posting links to key resources, projects and published research in the Background section, so be sure to check in regularly.

Looking forward to meeting half of you tomorrow (and the other half in March)!!