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Friday, February 19, 2010

2nd session at DML2010

Went to 2nd session at DML2010

Kids As Game Designers and Programmers

Colleen Macklin (Parsons The New School for Design) moderating

Participants: Karen Michaelson, Chris Wisniewski (Museum of the Moving Image), Jill

Denner (ETR Associates), Jim Diamond (EDC Associates), Colleen Macklin (Parsons The

New School for Design), John Sharp (Savannah College of Art and Design)

Discussed digital game design as a strategy to increase and transform youth participation in

digital media. Questions: How can we construct programs that help youth transfer skills from

game design learning into other areas, such as STEM? What are the institutional structures

that exist to support or hinder these kinds of programs? Can these kinds of programs

engage young people who might not otherwise be interested in designing games? What

are the developmental challenges associated with asking kids to become

designers? Under what conditions is digital game programming used to transform media

representations and content? How do different types of programming environments limit

or enhance the games that are created? How can pedagogical approaches be

modified to engage diverse populations-- and particularly young women-- in creating

digital content?

John Sharp spoke about a game design project that he has developed- currently being soft-launched with Boys and Girls Club of America -- 4,000 clubs and a potential reach of 5 million kids.

Karen Michaelson exec director of nonprofit media arts center tincan spoke about their after school gaming for girls program funded by the National Science Foundation

Chris Wisniewski, director of education at the Museum of the Moving Image spoke about his after school gaming program for girls called Girls Future Lab

Jill Denner discussed her project Girls Creating Games “We have made the lesson plans, program guides, girls’ games, and publications available on our Web site.” Said Jill.

Sharing Strategies

Jill shared three strategies that have worked well in the Girl Game Company.

Use instructional approaches that research and program staff say appeal to girls. A project-based, design-based learning approach has worked very well with the girls in the Girl Game Company. The girls make a product (a digi- tal game) that others can play. The project activities take place in the context of a ‘company’—the girls all have specific roles in the company, whose purpose is to make games for “clients.” The games are placed in the online

community of Whyville, which is an online community for preteens.

In addition, the instructional approach of pair program- ming is used. Two girls share one computer and they work together. Jill and her staff also believe that the female-only environment helps to foster a positive learning environment for the girls, expose girls to career paths in digital game design and the technology industry.

Family involvement is crucial. The Girl Game Co. hosts a series of ‘family nights’ where information is presented on internet safety, career options, what it takes to apply to college, and more. Child care is provided, and meals are served to make it easy for families to attend. Simultaneous translation is also offered, and this has made the gatherings very successful.


Girl Game Company at ETR Associates:


Girls Creating Games:

1 comment:

  1. It might that such kind of programs will benefited young people Who interested or not interested in designing games.

    game design program