I’ve talked to a lot of teachers about their experiences using Gamestar in the classroom. We’ve emailed, chatted, Skyped, called, and spoken in person. I’ve read blog posts, comments, tweets, Edmodo and Facebook posts, and reviews. Yet today was a first for me; I played a game by teacher describing his experience teaching Gamestar!
The GSM Experience is a quick and easy game, and, while it’s very funny, it touches on some important issues in the game design classroom. Mr. Gramlich starts by tackling the problems of using Gamestar in schools:
Level 1 – get over technology hurdles
Level 2 – Try with all your might to get kids to read the instructions in games!
Level 3 – Watch kids make games that are supposedly “challenging,” but in essence provide a whole mess of enemies, but no real challenge or fun gameplay.
Level 4 – Play your kids’ games that are chalk full of sprites. A crowded game doesn’t necessarily mean the “best game ever!”
Level 5 – After enduring the struggles of setting up technology, going over game protocol, and learning how to design games that don’t just rely on tons of enemy sprites, Mr. Gramlich gets to the very best part of using Gamestar in the classroom: playing awesome games that the students make.
This playable experience shows that with perseverance, teachers and kids really can get past the initial issues of using game design in the classroom to get to something that, in Mr. Gramlich’s words, “makes all the trouble worth it!”