Wednesday, February 22, 2017

EDTECH 532- Action Game 3

Doom, the originator of the First Person Shooter (FPS).  I remember spending hours playing this in 1994. While playing Doom again I remember, the suspense of wondering what was waiting for me around a corner and blasting the heck out of it.  Apart from shooting the enemies, there is the added challenge of solving the maze that you find yourself in.  For an added competition facture, you can improve on your time on each level.  I somehow remembering the graphics being more realistic, it must be the alternative reality that Doom created in my mind

 FPS is definitely my favourite genre of games.  I really got hooked with this particular genre of games when the original Medal of Honor came out.  These games told the story of WWII and put the player in the middle of such events as D-Day.  They also added a component of online playing where you could battle against friends by hosting a match on your own computer or a dedicated server.  This series of games lead my love of another story line which was Call of Duty, a FPS in a more modern setting.

EDTECH 532- Action Games2 Question

For this quest I played a game on Steam called Mandagon.  This is a platform style game where you control a statuesque type character.  You guide this unnamed character through a series of mazes.  In the beginning, you control through moving left/right and jumping.  Later elevators and blow holes help move as well.

There is no back story provided so the player is left to imagine what sort of quest he is on.  The game exists in Zen-like world of statues, waterfalls and calming music.  Like all good games, the more the player progresses, the more difficult the game becomes.  Eventually, I came to a place where I was stuck and could not progress any further.  Perhaps if I had a joystick or game controller and not my keyboard controls I could get over this obstacle.  Perhaps I need to take a break an come back to it later.

EDTECH 532- Embedding Sploder

Here is my attempt at creating a game in Sploder.  Sploder is a web tool that can create a variety of arcade style games using a drag and drop system.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

EDTECH 532-The gamification of education infographic

In this quest, we take a look at the following graphic on gamification which is created by Knewton and Column Five Media.

The short history portion of this infographic is of particular interest to us.  My own experience in educational gaming intersects this timeline from time to time.  For example, when I first started teaching in 1994 SimCity was one of two games installed on the computers in our computer lab (the other was Dino Park Tycoon).  Students could play these games when the lab was open at lunch or when they had completed their work and had free time.  When I think back, I can't help but think of the lost opportunities for learning we passed up as a staff by only using these games as a passive teaching/entertainment resource.  Perhaps if we new more about the power of gaming then, we could have targeted learning with these games.

I have always been a big fan of Sid Meier's Civilization series of games.  In fact, I think the Civ  III had a simulation creator where users could create their own scenarios.  I remember trying my hand at it and tried to recreate the Seven Years War between the French and English, a topic I was teaching at the time.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or knowledge to carry this idea through to completion.

Since my early days of teaching, I have only used games for my own entertainment but now as I reflect, I think I might pursue an idea of a historical simulation game for my EDTECH 532 project.  A game in the spirit of Civilization which could help recreate a historical period that I often have to teach.  For example, with my Grade 12 students we look at the Cold War, a nuclear deterrence strategy game could be excellent to help students understand the risks and effects of Nuclear Brinkmanship which I find students don't understand as well as those of us who grew up in the '70's and '80's.

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media