Maybe I was too quick in my last post about how we’re designing our game-world. I probably lacked detail (again). So here’s an example – in a sort of school like – presentation of how our adventures work. Kids choose these things, we don’t mandate them at all. This one’s about the environment, and here is a really brief sketch of how it works. You have to imagine that this mission is something the kid is curious and has chosen to do from a really simple description. If you like we use a kind of elevator pitch to get their attention. They are rewarded in the game for their work – there is no pass/fail or score. The kid will usually go off and make something – and ask questions. We look for chances to discuss these things, but we don’t interrogate the kids along the way, and accept that the rhythm is set by the kids, not us. Ultimately they know that in order to get the award, they will have to satisfy the evaluation in the game and in the guild.
Again, this is just an example! – it’s not at all trying to explain how this is facilitated and led in the game other than to say, the is never any direct instruction or lectures – it all happens though play and feedback. For parents, the invlovement comes though helping answer their kid’s questions and perhaps to show them or talk to them about these issues – it’s sort of opportunity driven (gamers will get what I mean). For example, a new report might come on and they want to talk about it or perhaps Dad points out rubbish left on the kerbside. When parents are aware of what kids are doing in the game, they are far more likely to discuss these things – using their own story, examples and particular style of teaching their kids. Parents are teachers too, and do a pretty good job when they are actually aware of what their kids are learning/curious about.
Think of this as a kind of invisible frame, it’s up to the moderator to show that they kids can do this – and to do that they also have to know the kid. I’m avoiding writing swathes on this – suffice to say – it’s not teaching as we might imagine from our Tyler-ist heritage and belief. This is the world of Notch.
The Eco-Builders Award
Importance: The world is made of natural and man made materials, some materials are less environmentally friendly than others.
Emotional Engagement: The world is easily polluted with man made rubbish, and man likes to use natural materials to make things that become this rubbish.
Binary Opposites: A world that we can/cannot live in
Content: Green groups, youtube videos, news, newspapers, the world outside our door.
Shaping: What happens when we can’t get access to man made products? Can we still live?
[possible ideas for parents/teachers as discussion raisers]
Putting all our waste in a bin, keeping a log.
Counting up the natural materials in our home.
Talking about something on the news
Watching a video documentary
Imagining a world where only natural/sustainable items are allowed
Building something that we can talk about.
Conclusion: What is the best way of showing we know how to create a world that is sustainable for us and other life. What is the compromise – what do we have to give up, have to acquire, what will be gain – what will we lose?
Evaluation: How do we know we understand the problem – how can we show we’ve grasped it’s importance, what content is useful to help us learn it – what content wasn’t useful. How does the thing you make/show/talk about/describe/play-with show this?