Written by: Shewonda Leger
Primary Source: Writing Rhetoric and American Cultures
Kids shouldn’t sit in front of television screens all day, but they do. Since we can’t get them away from the television set, why not use games as tool for teaching. Using games as an educational tool provides opportunities for deeper learning, such as the increase in memory, performance, social interaction, and classroom engagement. In addition, there is more than one way to teach using games. Mind Shift shares an article about how making games can be used as a form of learning. Game making is one way to create a space where students are empowered to freely experiment with their own way of framing ideas and choosing perspectives.
Gamestar Mechanic is a great example of a game-making tool that can be used for learning. Gamestar Mechanic is a web-based software platform with a drag and drop interface that makes it simple for kids to make their own games. Kids can take the content they have learned and turn it into a game that they can use or other classmates can use. If a child can turn their classroom notes into a fun, engaging and exciting game, this is reassurance that they know the material.
Gamestar Mechanic continues to grow and is becoming widely used in the classroom. Gamestar Mechanic is currently used in more than 7,000 schools, with over 600,000 youth-created games published and played over 20 million times in 100+ countries.
Game design shows kids that coding is ultimately a semiotic system. Coding has become very popular, and can be challenging to understand and learn. Gamestar Mechanic involves language and can make coding easier for kids. Teachers are encouraged to step away from the traditional methods of pedagogy and bring gaming into the classroom.