Teaching video games

If I want to demonstrate to a class a way to think about video game’s various effects, I need to have them experience them first hand. Inherently, video games are a medium that Is better experienced rather than merely lectured or talked about.

 

Let’s talk for example one of my favorite themes in video games: Decision making. Decision making is one of those things that video games companies are starting to bank, and I do not mean the decision between using a sword or an axe, I mean about moral choices and story driven decision that can potentially change the outcome of the game narrative. Usually this can be explained to a student by showing them the branching paths that a game takes when these decisions have on the overall game.

 

However, I believe there are better ways. I could enroll the help of friends to script a scene in the Unity Engine, this would basically allow me to create a very quick narrative with some key elements that I can use to illustrate my point, and this mini game  can be imported to many platforms, so the students will be able to play it regardless of their chosen platform.

 

The exercise would be simple, have themselves recorded as they play the game. The game would be in the same venue as Telltale’s the walking dead, where decisions need o be made in a very constrained time, and not taking an action counts like an action. The mini game would have a few outcomes, and the idea is to see and discuss what they think about gameplay that incorporates these elements and above all, how that made them feel.

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