Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog

All posts tagged “educational games”

Games and Storytelling

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Posted Jul. 03, 2012

CategoryChallenges and Contests, Gaming Education

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Right now, in Gamestar Mechanic we are featuring the Scholastic What’s Your Story? Contest. This contests is open through August 1st and serves as part of the Start. Write. Now. Alliance for Young Writers and Artists initiative. This all leads up to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards that open in September.

These days, the idea that games can tell effective stories is not exactly new. Now many teachers are using games with their students to deconstruct stories or game design to understand narrative development. But the art of telling stories through video games is still in its adolescence. This funny video by Extra Credits and Daniel Floyd gives some good examples of how storytelling and writing, in particular, are faring in the world of video game creation.

Keep in mind this video was made 4 years ago, and 4 years can make a lot of difference. There are three main points that Floyd makes in his piece that I feel are changing by the minute:
1. Mainstream consumers are beginning to pay attention to good writing. Since 2008 a number of smash hit video games have come out with exceptional writing, the most notable of which are the two most recent installations of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series.
2. Games are no longer only a consumer product. The implementation of games in education is picking up quickly as educators recognize the potential for games to teach. While there is a lot of buzz about games teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, teachers are also realizing the power of teaching narrative in games.
3. Writing is not always seen as the key element in game storytelling. As we are seeing in a lot of Indie Games, stories in games can be enthralling and rich with almost no writing at all. Check out the popular adventure games by Aminata Design for example.

While writing and storytelling in games may never be exactly the same to that in movies or books, games are certainly growing as a medium for narrative. Because we believe in the power of games to tell stories, and the power of game design to inspire youth to create narratives, we are featuring challenges like the Scholastic What’s Your Story? Contest. Can you tell a story through your game design? Give it a shot!

Are You Game? Game Design Workshop – November 12th

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Posted Oct. 26, 2011

CategoryEvents

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GAMEUPWe’ve partnered up with BrainPOP to do a kick-off event for the National STEM Video Game Challenge.  I’m pretty psyched about this event, and excited to work with teachers on how to use Gamestar Mechanic to model STEM subjects.  Check out the flyer below and, if you’re in the NYC area, please come through!! (Also, it’s FREE!)

Attention New York City area educators! Are you ‘game’ for a free one day game design workshop with BrainPOP and Gamestar Mechanic? Then read on…

From the National STEM Video Game Challenge to ed tech conferences around the country, you’ve heard the buzz about student-made games. But how do you get started making that a reality in your classroom? On Saturday, November 12, join leading game designers, STEM content experts, and fellow educators for a day of professional development dedicated exclusively to this rapidly growing field of game design. Keynote speaker Michael Angst, Founder and CEO of educational game publisher E-Line Media, kicks things off with a talk that illuminates the key elements of game design. Then, head to hands-on workshops in which you’ll use curricular content from BrainPOP and the easy-to-use game design tool Gamestar Mechanic to develop your very own game. You’ll leave armed with great ideas and ready to tackle that National STEM Video Game Challenge with your students. Breakfast, lunch, and other goodies will be provided.

When: Saturday, November 12 (National Gaming Day!)
9:30am – 4:00pm

Where: BrainPOP HQ

Register Here!