Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog

All posts from March 13, 2012

Physical Game Exercises


Posted Mar. 13, 2012

CategoryGaming Education


Since the beginning of the new year, E-Liners have been doing a lot of traveling.  We’ve taught numerous workshops to promote the National STEM Video Game Challenge and workshops to teach teachers about game design.  We’ve gotten a bunch of positive responses on these workshops and especially on two, offline game design activities that we often present.  In the office, we affectionately call this activities “rock paper scissors” and “baggy.”

Both of these activities are about exploring the elements of game design without digital technology.  In “rock paper scissors,” you change the elements of the game system to see how changing one element with affect the whole system.  In “baggy” (known more professionally as the Game Kit Exercise), you make a game in small groups out of simply office supplies that comes in, you guessed it, a baggy.

Both of these activities are short and sweet, but not without some deep learning.  These are the kinds of exercises that *real* game designers do to explore concepts in their creations.  Prototyping with physical materials is a great way to start playtesting a new game design.

And now, you can have the “rock paper scissors” and “baggy” exercises for your very own classroom!  Follow the link here to the Learning Guide and check out the new lesson plans under “Lessons on Game Design.”  These are great preparation lessons for starting out a game design unit (and also great to do if you don’t have access to computers or Internet for a class).  Enjoy!