Today was the first day back at ITA, and we jumped in with both feet with the Video Games in Scratch custom workshop. We took the students over to the video game lab in the UW-Teacher Education building so they could get the full experience.
Ryan started them off with a short lecture about concepts behind video game design, starting with Game Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics.
The students were a little uncertain about talking about video games in such terms, but it wasn't long before they started to get into the discussion. Jacob raised some good points about why some games were more appealing than others, citing things like storyline and challenge, and Saige told everyone about her challenges playing Super Mario Kart against her brother.
Next, Ryan showed them the game Braid, and everyone had a great time playing that on the projector so the others could watch. Terrence did a great job navigating the difficult terrain. Way to go, Terrence!
Finally, the students were split up so they could play whatever game they chose form the lab's wide-ranging stock, with the intent that they pay attention to the things we had discussed. With things like mechanics and dynamics in mind, they played Rock Band, Call of Duty, and the Orange Box, enjoying themselves immensely, while learning something at the same time.
All in all, a great day for ITA!!!
~written on 9/11/2010