My preconceptions about games, play, and learning are continuing to change throughout this course. I now believe that almost any type of game could be turned into a learning experience in some respect. Whether it’s a serious game that is being played by medical students learning fine skills involving an aneurysm surgery, or a simple game on the iPhone like Bejeweled, there is some aspect being learned or a skill being improved on. I feel that there is such an untapped potential with gaming as a learning tool, and the surface is barely being scratched at what games can do to foster learning and improve society.
I’ve never really given much thought to video games being implemented into classrooms before this course. I had the preconception that they are a big no-no in schools because of the stereotypes that comes with video game playing and most people think it’s something that needs to be done after school at home. It can also be a solitary activity and doesn’t lend itself well to being used in classrooms with 30 students. However, I disagree with this. I think there’s a possible way that video games can be implemented into schools. I can imagine a corner of a classroom set up with a gaming console or a computer featuring all kinds of games. Students could have the opportunity to use these individually or in small groups. I can also imagine a well-organized section of a school library with about 30 computers where students can play games during free periods, or perhaps used by classrooms on certain days.
My ongoing curiosities with games and learning currently involve how games are actually created. The question I am asking myself for this blog is: If one was interested in creating a small learning-based game, how would they do it? Does it take massive amounts of coding and a great graphics design talent, or is there an easier way to do it? Right before I decided to attend UC-Denver, I had been all set on attending Boise State for their e-learning program. One of the classes they offer in their program teaches students how to use the Unity gaming developer program and the students are required to create a game. I think this is a fantastic idea and I would really love to learn how to use Unity, and plan to, when I get a bit of spare time.
Game design is a huge mystery to me and it seems like it’s so complex that it would take a large team just to create a basic game. I am also interested in how one would create a game that would be played on an iPhone. I am going to research all of these things. I have a small business where I publish educational materials, and I have wanted to branch out into digital products, so this seems like a step in the right direction.