One of the highlights at the GALA 2014 Summer School held recently in Pori, Finland, was a special half-day workshop devoted to game making. This event was run by a team from the MAGICAL project, which is investigating the potential of digital game making for enhancing learning in primary and lower secondary schools. Doctoral students from around the world attended the Pori workshop to try their hand at collaborative game making using the Magos Classic and Magos Lite game editors. They discovered first-hand how this innovative approach to GBL can stimulate transversal skills like creativity, problem-solving and collaboration.
But the fun and games didn’t end there. Once they’d tried their hand at Magos game making, the workshop teams were set a special challenge: to design and build a novel system to replace conventional mouse + keyboard game control, and also integrate bodily movement and interaction for input. To accomplish this, each team had a special technology design kit called MaKey MaKey, which is produced by researchers at the MIT Media Lab in the USA. These kits are inspired by the worldwide maker movement, which seeks to promote people’s inventiveness, ingenuity and innovation as a counterbalance to the passive consumerism that’s becoming so pervasive nowadays.
Together with their MaKey MaKey kits, the workshop teams had a set of different materials to draw from and use in whatever way they could imagine. And originality was certainly the order of the day! You can get a glimpse of the outcome from the collected workshop photos and videos. Check out the workshop presentation here.
The workshop was the third Magos-MaKey MaKey mashup that MAGICAL has held so far, the other two involving schools in Italy and Finland (find out more here). These have proved a big success, offering some further insights into how team-based design & development activities, both tangible and digital, bring key transversal skills into play. MAGICAL researchers also took the opportunity in Pori to get some valuable end-used feedback about Magos Classic, MAGICAL’s experimental game editor that allows online teams to design and build games collaboratively in real-time.
For more on game making for learning, see:
- MAGICAL on Mendeley: bibliography on collaborative game design for learning
- game making news from the blogosphere on Scoop.It