Modern games are not only fun and intellectually engaging, but they are also an excellent source of cross-curricular learning. Many modern games are built around historical cultures and events, natural wonders, or political or economic systems. They provide opportunities for close reading, critical thinking, and communication. They often include beautiful art. Designing and creating games amplifies each of these things and also adds meaningful practice with writing, iterative processes, graphic design, and more.
In this class, students will study many different games (historical, traditional, and modern), and will learn about game mechanics, genres and themes, game design, playtesting and iteration, graphic design, clear and concise writing, and more. They will work toward the creation of their own game and will even learn how to self-publish their finished product.
Students will learn about and play many different games throughout the course of the year. We will use the website Board Game Arena to allow students and the teacher to play tabletop games online with one another. It is important to note that this website requires participants to be at least 15 years old in order to create an account.
Students will want to have access to general crafting supplies, such as paper, pencils, markers, tape, scissors, etc.
The class will begin by learning about ancient games and then will move into traditional and modern games. After that, students will learn about different types of games, game mechanics, themes, elements of design, and the importance of playtesting. In a typical week, we will explore one or more specific games that highlight the features we are learning about. In many cases, students will be given the opportunity to play that game online during the week in order to better understand the concepts involved.
Who should enroll?
Students who already enjoy tabletop games or are interested in pursuing a new hobby. Students who have an interest in art, storytelling, or graphic design. Students who have an entrepreneurial spirit.
- High speed, broadband internet
- Microphone and webcam (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will be given tasks throughout the year that will help them work toward their final project. Feedback will be given to encourage students to consider ways to modify and improve their work.