Posts tagged ‘Game Design’

Development Project – OceanQuest

I have not been posting on G&L for some time now and this is because I have been working on a research and development project. OceanQuest is a mini piece of game-based learning focused on creating engaging learning from relatively dry learning content. OceanQuest targets bearings in Key Stage 3 Mathematics, Ma3 (shape, space and measures). The game includes three different missions with varied tasks involving target practice, navigating between objects, giving bearings of objects, clearing sea mines and delivering supplies to islands. Below are screenshots of the missions:

I have compiled a 2 page teachers’ information pdf which contains more detail on learning objectives and the game itself. If you would like a copy please contact me. The game is password protected so please email me or comment on this post if you would like to play the game. The only requirement for the game is Flash Player 9. I have finished the first stage of development and am looking for constructive feedback or evaluations from people who work in related industries. If you are a teacher/other educator/developer or have experience with elearning and game-based learning, any feedback on the game will be very much appreciated. Educators, feel free to have students (KS3) play the game as feedback from the target audience will be extremely beneficial to the project.

I have had only positive feedback so far with people commenting on how fun and engaging it is and also on the potential they see in using the game with their students.

My email address:


May 7, 2008 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

Games on the curriculum – Scottish schools

Daniel Livingstone wrote a post today regarding an article on game design being taught in Scottish schools. He provides some interesting responses to the curriculum guidelines. Worth a read.

“I spotted this intriguing piece earlier in the week -” ‘Games’ to be taught in Scottish Schools”
The article doesn’t reveal much in the way of details but claims:

Scottish schoolchildren are to be taught the basics of video game design as part of the country’s new national curriculum – dubbed the ‘Curriculum of Excellence’.

According to the Press Association, the move is to designed to ‘create the next generation of young programmers’.

Schools minister Maureen Watt unveiled the scheme … and added that the new lessons will teach children how to use computer software to create animations and feature films.”

See the full article here.

April 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm Leave a comment

Channel 4 sponsors Dare to Be Digital… Introduces education as a theme

Channel 4 has announced sponsorshop of the Dare to Be Digital summer game development competition. Announced here.

As part of their sponsorship (which apparently is for a significant sum of money to support the competition), a brief to develop games with an educational or serious ‘twist’ has also been provided.

Author: Daniel Livingstone, Learning Games Blog, 4th April 2008

Full article available here.

April 5, 2008 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Memory, Reconsolidation and Big Questions…

Orange_no_drawer_2 I am a big fan of big questions. I think that sessions like the Game Design Challenge and its “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” cousin – “The Great ILS Challenge“(scroll down, its #800), force us to ask questions about what we can do. I love the Learning Circuits Blog Big Question of the Month (BQOTM) and think that it has really spurred some insightful discussions that might not have occurred otherwise. I do have to say though that the BQOTM has a big brotherEdge_banner out there and it asks REALLY big questions.The Edge describes it’s purpose as “To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.” The main way that Edge gets at these questions is ironically enough, through asking their annual question. You can see the past questions here, and if you doubt the bigness of their questions, past ones have included; What is your dangerous idea?, What’s you law?, What’s your question? and What now?

Author: Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings Blog, 20th March 2008

Full article available here.

March 22, 2008 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

The Invention of Good Games:Understanding Learning Design in Commercial Video Games

(Katrin Becker thesis)

Katrin’s important thesis is now available both as a Wiki and a PDF download.

“In order to design educational games that remain effective as both games and as learning objects, it is necessary to understand how successful games teach. However, the best games are designed for entertainment and not education, and while they teach effectively, their designs are not expressed in educational terms that could be used by designers of instructional games. Although current literature often cites examples from COTS games to support claims about how games teach and there is a growing body of research on the use of games in formal learning situations, the main focus has been on the learners and there have been no comprehensive detailed examinations of how specific games teach. By treating the COTS game as though it had been deliberately created as an educational game, it becomes possible to identify the learning requirements for the game as well as the strategies used to support that learning in a form suitable for examination as instructional design. Using methodology adapted from reverse engineering called ‘instructional decomposition’, both macro and micro design elements can be identified. This work will contribute to the body of knowledge on elements important in the design of educational games by identifying specific strategies employed in top-rated games to facilitate specific learning requirements.”

Author: Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings, 27th February 2008

February 28, 2008 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning

(ed. Katie Salen)

Ecologyofgames (link)
“In the many studies of games and young people’s use of them, little has been written about an overall “ecology” of gaming, game design and play–mapping the ways that all the various elements, from coding to social practices to aesthetics, coexist in the game world. This volume looks at games as systems in which young users participate, as gamers, producers, and learners.

The Ecology of Games (edited by Rules of Play author Katie Salen) aims to expand upon and add nuance to the debate over the value of games–which so far has been vociferous but overly polemical and surprisingly shallow.

Ian Bogost, Anna Everett, James Paul Gee, Mizuko Ito, Barry Joseph, Laurie McCarthy, Jane McGonigal, Cory Ondrejka, Amit Pitaru, Tom Satwicz, Kurt Squire, Reed Stevens, S. Craig Watkins.

About the Editor
Katie Salen is a game designer and interactive designer as well as Director of Graduate Studies in Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design. With Eric Zimmerman, she is the coauthor of Rules of Play (MIT Press, 2003) and coeditor of The Game Design Reader (MIT Press, 2005).”

**You really can’t go wrong here for $13


February 28, 2008 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment


The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

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