Reimagine Learning

Why Classroom Playtesting Sessions Are Required

Brian Regan and Victoria Van Voorhis

by Brian Regan and Victoria Van Voorhis on Feb 25, 2016 5:18:23 PM

Making videogames for a living is awesome!

I’ve helped create and shape videogames for many years now, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of working with talented, creative people who share my passion and want nothing more than to build something that will knock your socks off. Game development can also be really, really difficult as well. One of the most challenging aspects of making a good game is the fact that, as content creators, we never actually have full control over the content once the game is done and in the hands of consumers. We build the framework and lay the ground rules, but the details are handled by the individual players.

This is a unique challenge for videogame production, as compared to other creative pursuits such as filmmaking, book-writing, or painting. Because the consumer of a game has a certain level of control over the experience, it is impossible to foresee all the possible ways in which players will interact with our games. Educational games add an additional layer of complexity, since we have to ensure players not only have fun with our games, but must retain the information as well. This leads to one of the most important questions in our field: how can we ensure our games are fun and perform well, when we cannot even begin to fathom all the different ways in which players will interact with them?

Topics: Serious Play, Games, Voters Ed, Martha Madison

Read More

Play is part of design thinking!

Victoria Van Voorhis

by Victoria Van Voorhis on Dec 7, 2015 7:23:13 PM

Our team is in the process of designing the next several units of game-based curriculum for our Martha Madison series, which we are continuing to develop with support from the National Science Foundation. For those of you who haven’t yet met Martha, she is a plucky meerkat scientist who invites middle school students to learn about science through problem solving adventures.  

As part of our design process we often play with science concepts ourselves.  It isn’t uncommon to see sketches on white boards, paper cut-outs and bits of lab equipment all around our office, not to mention the growing pile of magnetic toys in our development lab.  Since we think about play and want our students to be really immersed in science, we decided that it was time for a field trip to spark our design thinking!  

Topics: Gaming, STEM, Martha Madison

Read More

FETC: Kicking off the 2015 Conference Season

Annie

by Annie on Feb 4, 2015 9:06:00 AM

Tory, Bob, Brian, and Jill just recently got back home from sunny Florida, after attending FETC 2015, one of the first education technology conferences of the 2015 season. The Second Avenue team enjoyed the high energy venue (complete with an aerial acrobat!) as well as the chance to meet colleagues, customers, and most of all, the hardworking teachers who are eager to integrate the latest in ed tech into their instruction.

Topics: Blog, FETC, differentiation, Martha Madison

Read More

Teachers: we want your feedback!

admin

by admin on Sep 6, 2013 11:09:33 AM

Happy Friday! For some, today rounds out the first week back in the classroom. Some of you might already have a couple of weeks under your belt. For nearly all, we know you are busy planning lessons and hammering out plans for the year. (That doesn't ever really stop, does it?)

Topics: Blog, Marvelous Machines, Serious Games, Game-based learning, STEM, Martha Madison

Read More

Keep me in the loop!

Posts by Topic

see all