Tag Archives: simulations

Draft 4 Games Simulations and VWs for Learning syllabus

Week 1, May 1-7: Why Games for Learning

Learning content vs. systems, projected identity, learning by/through design, theory of fun


Optional Readings:


  • Set up Guild Wars 2 account and join guild.
  • Create a Steam account.
  • Select and play a tabletop game with family or friends. Pay attention to social dynamics, game mechanics and balance, etc.


  • Browse The Hotness on Board Game Geek. Read reviews.
  • Introduce yourself, gaming history, and which tabletop game you played in the class forums.
  • Half the class writes reviews or synopses of readings and/or games. The other half responds.

Activities Related to Major Assignments:

  • Tabletop game design: Think of a tabletop game idea that addresses an area of interest for you and write a one-paragraph pitch.

Continue reading Draft 4 Games Simulations and VWs for Learning syllabus

Draft 2 of Games Simulations and Virtual Worlds for Learning course

Prob could use more on simulations and VWs…

Also, haven’t added everything, yet… After that’s done, I’ll have to cut a bunch of stuff since it seems like a lot to cover in 12 weeks. Much thanks to Alex Thayer… I grabbed a bunch of refs from his course that I was a guest lecturer in about 2 weeks ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ Which reminds me; I still need to scour the web for other people’s syllabi and see if I can incorporate even more stuff that I may have missed.

Continue reading Draft 2 of Games Simulations and Virtual Worlds for Learning course

Draft outline for Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds online course

I’m teaching a course on games and learning during Pepperdine’s summer session. It’s an online course for masters students getting an ed tech degree who may or may not be completely new to the topic, so I’m throwing in as much as I can. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m pretty excited about it! Midway, the students and I will meet face to face at GLS and playtest their in-progress game designs.

Anyway, here’s the preliminary outline that I just threw together. It’s a lot to cover in 12 weeks.

  1. intro to game studies: definitions, magic circle, narratology v ludology, disciplines, art
  2. why games for learning: content v systems, computational thinking, ecology, projected ID, Theory of Fun
  3. game genres and mechanics, tabletop and digital: Board Game Geek, RPS, killscreen, Analog, Well Played
  4. survey of games, simulations, and VWs for learning: COTS v designed, GLS, MIT, Harvard, Indiana, ASU, UCLA, Irvine, UCSC, CGS
  5. game design processes: Aldrich, Schell, Kultima, Rogers
  6. user studies: engagement, flow, play testing
  7. play test during GLS
  8. mods, theorycrafting, memes: Elitist Jerks, Skyrim
  9. assessment: the big black box?
  10. studying gaming and gaming culture: ethnography, Coming of Age in Second Life, Leet Noobs
  11. gamification, badges, connected learning
  12. outstanding issues

I’ll be posting updates to the syllabus as I fill in details, assignments, readings, games to play, etc. to this blog, hopefully making the course design process as transparent as possible. It’s like a process painting but in course design form. Thoughts? Did I leave anything out?