I was looking at some of the online games that have a historical theme and ran across the Hundred Years War, an online simulation that focuses on medieval life. I just finished teaching the Middle Ages in my 10th grade world history class and some of the kids wanted explore this topic further, so I [...]
Chapter 2 in Game Design: Theory and Practice contains an interview with Sid Meier (creator of Civilization), The interviewer mentions the addictive quality of the game. Sid Meier explains that this aspect of the game was not anticipated but somehow came together in the game. All the pieces of the game fit together and the [...]
According to a new article in Wired, the Army is funding the development of two combat games to train infantry soldiers. What’s unique about this project is that the resulting games will run on PCs, X-Box and the next generation PlayStation. Infantry wannabes will be able to purchase their own copy without enlisting.
The Patterns group was brainstorming different types of games. We found a site called Allgame that has a great collection of game genres complete with descriptions and examples. It could be useful as a reference particularly for the e-game work.
The Weblog Article was in last week’s Computer Link in the San Diego Union Tribune. Good article about the growth of blogs as a an outlet after the Sept 11 attacks.
Karen, Don Henderson, the tech coordinator for the Grossmont District (I think that’s his title) gave us (Donn Ritchie’s 596, Tech for Decision Makers class) a tour of Steele Canyon High School last year. He showed us some terrific stuff that the kids were doing around the county with iMovie and I don’t remember all [...]
I don’t know if this qualifies as a blog, but I was looking around for webstes for children – unique uses for the computer and perhaps motor skills development – and I came upon the Online Etch-a-Sketch site. When I was growing up, everyone had an etch-a-sketch, and it took considerable skill to manipulate the [...]
The Quake engine is apparently quite flexible. This morning’s tech news includes a blurb about the release of an expansion pack for Star Trek Voyager Elite Force. Still a shoot-em-up, but you can make the environment and people look like whatever you want!
Mike brought back fond memories of my family’s visit to Plimoth Plantation. While I holed up in a hotel finishing a report, my wife and then 8-year old went to the plantation four days in a row. They were just blown away by the experience of chatting with Pilgrims who were nothing like our Thanksgiving [...]
The Prensky readings have really stirred up a lot of professional turmoil for me over the past few weeks. My formal teacher training was rooted in constructivism and cooperative learning, but as the accountability and standardized test movement barrels through public education I find myself less free to teach using this philosophy. I find myself [...]
Just read Bernie’s comment about the Quake engine being used in a non-violent way. My vision of the History game was to use a 3-D engine to explore and interact with a historical environment, kind of like Everquest, except set in Renaissance Italy. The players could become involved in multiple aspects of the society (economic, [...]
I happened across an article in Wired News that made reference to the manifestations of Osama Bin Laden in the video game world. Many people are taking out their frustration on the Saudi dissident by playing games in which they blow him up. For many game violence is a quick and often cathartic release, but [...]
In one of my other Ed Tech classes, we are creating a Webquest. We were discussing what the “task” should be for the students. One group member suggested having them create a game that went along with the topic of our quest. Suddenly, I had a greater appreciation for the difficulty of just “creating a [...]
I spent the weekend in San Francisco with some friends who have young children (2-3 years old) and was surprised at how much even young children were using e-games (through Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, etc) to build hand-eye coordination and to develop other skills. All of these kids also come from bi-lingual households and [...]
Thanks to Ann’s pointer to the Studio 360 show, I remembered to tune in yesterday. Most of it wasn’t relevant to 670, but I was tickled by the segment about the Ill Clan. This is a group of guys who’ve taken the Quake engine and turned it into a way to make funny films. One [...]
I went to the Orisinal site mentioned by Bob Faust below and played a few games. Surprisingly, the Winter Girl Puzzler game held my attention: I just couldn’t quit before I moved all of the pieces into their correct positions. Although this game is not currently educational, this format could be used with pattern recognition [...]
The computer game market is definitely becoming a multi-million dollar endeavor. The days of the computer hermit pounding out code for games in a cabin in Montana would seem to be gone. One platform that may still be available to the individual designing reasonably simple games is Flash. While browsing Bernie’s game blogs I found [...]
I went to the http://www.games2train.com site and “learned” about sexual harassment by playing “CubeDude” (a game similar to Pac Man). If CubeDude could reach a computer before bumping into a male or female boss, a question about sexual harassment would pop up on the screen. Correct answers would result in points. I didn’t find this [...]
I had the pleasure to meet Nikos, a professional trainer for “The Director in the Classroom”. I just completed a two day training course at the County Ed Office. The gist of the training was to bring movie production to the classroom so that students would take their knowledge about a subject, use higher order [...]
Speaking of combining things, has anyone played/toyed with Puppet Motel? I still haven’t gotten it, but it’s by artist Laurie Anderson, and apparently you wander through a puppet motel solving puzzles and exploring. But it’s not like your average game, from what I understand. It’s more like performance art or something. Maybe Doreen has played [...]
I was listening to KPBS (89.5) yesterday, and they had an advertisement for Studio 360 this weekend. Saturday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, and they said that this week’s show is going to be on the merging of video games and movies, and virtual characters. It sounded interesting, however, when I went to the 360 site, [...]
There are some games that are less violent. I just found a company (Her Interactive) that makes Nancy Drew interactive mysteries. Looks cool! I’d like to try it. It just makes me regret having bought a Powerbook a little when I see all the games for PCs only. Another couple of games that look really [...]
One thing I learned about piloting games was that it is crucial to test the game out on players of all levels. In our “golf” game, for example, I was basically the test subject as someone with zero knowledge not only about golf but of how to move the pegs the correct way! Working together, [...]
I was checking out some “girl” sites, and stumbled on this topical “game” (using the term VERY loosely): Halloween fun for girls?!. I wonder if people are shaped more by what they are exposed to, or who they are.
I’m not much a big game player. I would rather read than play games. Now I know why. I went to the Apple game trailer page and frankly, I was grossed out by all the violence and demonic themes. Even a fairy tale like Alice in Wonderland was turned into a dark and sinister game. [...]
I’ve played a couple of games on the page including Riven (and Myst, its predecessor). They, and games like them are incredible examples of cutting edge graphics and animation. What I wonder about is long-term playability. Once I figured out how to solve all the puzzles and complete the game, I gave it away because [...]
Wow! Just watching the trailers, (okay, I admit it- about a dozen of them) with everything their makers have learned from Hollywood cinema and marketing, would be an education for the trainers! Do the educational games that Prensky recommends have the production quality that the trailers off of Apple’s game trailer page have?
Many of you confess to not having played many games. As we move into the next phase of the course, it would be good to familiarize yourself with the spectrum of computer games that are out there. I just bumped onto Apple’s game trailer page. You’ll need QuickTime and a reasonably fast connection to appreciate [...]
How to design for various knowledge/skill levels? I struggled with a number of issues during the design of our board game on constellations. How can we make this fun? (It seemed like a really dry topic to me at first, but recently I have been peering into the heavens at night from my front porch.) [...]
We tested our game tonight. We decided to change our game from GOLF CHALLENGE to The ARGUE GAME…The moral of the story is to test your games to work out those kinks! By the way, I won the inaugural game of GOLF CHALLENGE!
I just found the national gamers guild. It is set up like a guild, you have to earn your way up the membership ladder. They have excellent reviews of games. Check it out. Also, does anyone know of a “boy” game that is equivalent to Pretty, Pretty Princess. Yes, if you don’t know what it [...]
I love Ravensburger games. Most can easily be played at different skill levels simultaneously. So, I thought I would ask them for the directions for a game that I had lost. I wouldn’t have thought about looking on the internet for directions before taking this class, but I did. The people at Ravensburger sent me [...]
Okay, didn’t work. Here are the links. I guess I need remedial blogger lessons… Reiner Knizia site: http://freespace.virgin.net/chris.lawson/rk/index.htm His Africa game: http://www.goldsieber.de/grosse/africa.htm
Oops, I almost started this like an email instead of a stream of consciousness…in any case, Yiftach and I went to Game Towne in Old Town. That is a great store! I ended up buying the “Lord of the Rings” boardgame as a Christmas present for my bro-in-law. I was reading a review of it [...]
I’m very excited (not anguished, annoyed, bored, droopy, sleepy, sneezy, or any of the other adjectives we were faced with this evening) about 670 in general and this blog in particular. Erin, even I’m finding the golf game intriguing (at least a little), and I’m the farthest thing from a golf fan you’re liable to [...]
I was just musing on how cool the golf game is coming along and wondering about really selling the game to a major manufacterer of educational games. I suppose a proposal would be written and the classroom board game could act as the prototype. You would then have to estimate approximately how much it would [...]