the intersection of teacher education, learning technologies and game-based learning. He thinks educators shouldn’t ignore video games if they want students to be media-literate, because they are the “storytelling medium of the 21st century.”
gaming can help build other SEL skills, such as empathy.
Video games are good for teaching kids problem-solving and ethical decision-making
Some experts have expressed concern about how video games affect children. According to the Washington Post, the World Health Organization has recognized “gaming disorder”—characterized as a lasting addiction to video games—as a condition. Yet, not all experts agree that “game addiction” should be pathologized.
game-based learning seems to be a misnomer, as the learning is not based on games, but enhanced by them. Commercial games are repurposed and modified to support curricular goals, as opposed to driving them. Of course, learning can and should also be based on games, as they are valid texts that can be studied in and of themselves, but it is important to see video games as elastic tools whose potential uses exceed their intended purpose.
My note: game-enhanced learning can be safely classified under “gamification”:
Gamification is defined as the process of applying game mechanics and game thinking to the real world to solve problems and engage users (Phetteplace & Felker, 2014, p. 19; Becker, 2013, p. 199; Kapp, 2012).
More on the issue of gaming and gamification (including coding) in Scandinavian countries:
Join us for a discussion about the structural inequalities and prejudices present within the video games culture and industry from a variety of viewpoints. We will explore the ways underrepresented genders and races historically have been treated in technological sectors and how they are specifically manifested in video game culture. We will hear from scholars, students, and members of the broader community in the Twin Cities. Before the event, participate in a social exhibition of games made by students and local developers. Light refreshments will be provided.
If you have a video game collection, how does your institution curate and preserve games that are in collections? Do you have advice for selectors on what kinds of file formats to choose, or what techniques are required to ensure the long term usability of the games?
What if teachers used video games as texts? Let’s think about how we might teach kids to think critically about the underlying messages in commercial games and how we might leverage video games for their ability to engage students and provoke conversation.
At the moment, there’s far too little critical examination of video games happening in school. We take it for granted that we should teach our students how to read books interpretively, how to analyze movies, and how to read the newspaper critically. But all too often we overlook video games as a meaningless triviality.
What is truly impressive, however, is how we are now able to use design to tell a story. In other words, we no longer need to use long scrolls to set up plots or describe what a company does. This is especially great when designing for the mobile experience, which already sets pretty strict limits on how much we can “tell” versus “show.”
Three Video Game Storytelling Techniques We Need More Of In Web Design
1. Make Your Visitor the Hero
Create User Personas
Develop user personas before you do anything else when strategizing and planning for a website. Your personas should have a key “problem” they face.
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Use Relatable Content
In video game design, there is something known as “ludonarrative dissonance.”
the unpleasant situation where we’re asking players to do something they don’t want to do… or prevent them from doing what they want.
That’s not a lot of space to fill with content for the majority of site visitors, is it?
Functional minimalism is already something you’re doing in your own web design efforts, but have you thought about how it can tie into the storytelling aspect as well?
Here are some ways in which you might use symbols to declutter your site:
Hamburger icon (for the navigation)
Profile photo icon (for account details)
Pencil icon (for an editing interface)
Gear icon (for settings)
Shopping cart icon (to checkout)
Magnifying glass (to expand the search bar)
Connector icon (to open social sharing and RSS feed options)
Question mark (to expand live chat, search, or help options)
And so on.
3. Be Smart About How You Use Space
Use a Spotlight
In video games, you can use light and darkness to draw attention to important pathways. On websites, it’s not always easy to employ the use of lightness or darkness as too-dark of a design or too-light of text could lead to a bad user experience. What you want to do instead is create a “spotlight” of sorts. You can do this by infusing a key area of your design with a dramatic color or a boldly stylized font.
If you’ve ever played a horror video game before, you know how critical the element of sound can be for it.
That said, while you might not be able to direct visitors down the page with the sound of something playing down below, you can use other elements to lead them. For one, you can use interactive elements like animation to draw their attention to where it needs to go.
Employ a Mascot
For some brands, it might make sense to employ the use of an actual mascot to guide visitors through the story.
As attention spans shorten and visitors just want to get to the good stuff on a website, designers have to get more creative in how they communicate their website’s “story.” Ideally, your web design will do more showing of that story instead of telling, which is how video game design tends to succeed in this matter.
Remember: Storytelling isn’t just relegated to big brands that can weave bright and shiny tales about how consumers’ lives were changed with their products. Nor is it just for video game designers that have hours of gameplay to develop for their audiences. A story simply needs to convey to the end-user how their problem can be fixed by your site’s solution. Through subtle design strategies inspired by video game storytelling techniques, you can effectively share and shape your own story.
Ubiquitous social media platforms—including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—have created a venue for people to share and connect with others. We use these services by clicking “I Agree” on Terms of Service screens, trading off some of our private and personal data for seemingly free services. While these services say data collection helps create a better user experience, that data is also potentially exploitable.
The news about how third parties obtain and use Facebook users’ data to wage political campaigns and the mounting evidence of election interference have shined a spotlight on just how secure our data is when we share online. Educating youth about data security can fall under the larger umbrella of digital citizenship, such as social media uses and misuses and learning how not to embarrass or endanger oneself while using the internet.
Darvasi’s students in Toronto can pool together 55 faux bitcoins to purchase and launch the BOTTING protocol against an opponent. The student targeted at Fallon’s school in Connecticut would then have 48 hours to record audio of 10 words of Darvasi’s students choosing and send it back to them through an intermediary (Darvasi or Fallon). For a higher price of 65 faux bitcoins, students can launch MORPHLING, which would give the opponent 48 hours to record a one-minute video explaining three ways to stay safe while using Facebook, while making their school mascot (or a close approximation of) appear in the video in some way during the entire minute.