Games in Academia/Collaboration

November 20th, 2010 |

Three game folks, joined by 4 collaboration folks.
  • First idea: Jane McGonigal, collab tool for game designers focused on creating “meaningful” games. Gameification structure: point, rewards, level up. New challenges proposed by community to inspire collaboration. November 2010 launch.
  • Stanford (and Indiana) courses built on leveling up/guild MMO structures.
  • Anastasia Salter (@MsAnastasia) modeling course in Spring 2011 on WoW.


Adding meaning to physical tasks: something that games are very good at. [Though, we might trouble Jesse Schell’s GDC talk on pointsification…]

What tools do these games teach?

  • visual literacy
  • multimodal literacy
  • rhetoric of persuasive games (Bogost)
  • Gameful focuses on production: making games as collaboration
  • procedural literacy (Bogost, Gee, Matheas). [Game of Oswald shooting JFK, Darfur is Drying, Oil Tycoon]
  • compositional literacy and collaborative writing  (ARGs such as The Beast/Cloudmakers as example, Pierre Levy’s CI)

Practical Applications:

  • Tools for building games:
  • Students are able to create and share and play their work with their classmates. Highly available result.

Recommended Texts:

  • The Game Maker’s Apprentice by James Hobgood

Ivanhoe as role play game for lit/comp classroom focused on literary analysis and arguments.

Using BuddyPress as online space for achievement based points for writing/blogging:

  • CubePoints
  • Achievements (set particularly goals and rewards–a type of leveling system) [@MsAnastasia plans to reward/level-up for achieving requirements, earning students different requirements for future assignments.]

Points might be an alternate (non(less?)-punitive) way to encourage students to collaborate, comment. Also, Jim Brown mentions portfolio system, The Learning Record [] and having students write a midterm and end of term argument for their grade. [Jim built his own with Drupal, as a simple one module install.]

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One Response to “Games in Academia/Collaboration”

  1. Roger Travis Says:

    Not sure if you’ll find it relevant, but my team’s practomimetic courses (RPG’s in ARG wrappers) are based on students in small groups collaboratively playing ancient characters, while at the same time they collaborate to produce briefings disguised as e.g. research papers.

    Cf. and (latter is a link to a news story about our introductory Latin curriculum).