[This article originally appeared on Game Design Aspect of the Month under the topic of Game-Based Learning, Board Games, Design 2020, Motivation, Wearable Technologies, and Designing for Demographics.]
The final article in the educational game development series on Games + Learning, "The World According to Edu-Larps: The Analog Learning Games," explores meta-gaming, the activities and fandom surrounding a game that promote self-directed learning, and how meta-gaming is expressed in analog games and informal settings like museums. Analog games include card and board games, tabletop RPGs, and edu-larps.
|Students participate in Mesopotamia Edu-larp|
For schools with technological challenges, these types of games may be a more affordable option. Moreover, analog games provide a social aspect that can't be replicated in digital games and allow educators to change parameters to suit the particular classroom. Analog games have proven to be especially effective with struggling students and students with disabilities.
Informal schooling in after-school programs, summer camps, and museums provide children with the opportunity to pursue learning at their own pace and according to their own interests.
In particular, check out the audio interview, which covers material not included in the article.
Mega-gaming also happens with digital games and it begs the question: Is the true essence of learning outside of the game rather than inside? What do you think? If so, then all those on-board assessment tools may not be uncovering the true state of a student's educational progress.
Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose work has spanned 10 years in the industry. Her credits include 1999 IGF winner Terminus, 2007 PC RPG of the Year The Witcher, and Wizard 101. She is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG.