We don’t have to wait much longer before we launch the pilot of Game Changers! I have been working with Sylvester Arnab and Alex Masters to develop the programme. During the Disruptive Media Learning Lab’s first year, there were many requests for game development support; however, tailor making games for individual modules will inevitably take up a serious portion of the lab’s resources. So in the spirit of providing equal opportunity for all and of course in the spirit of being open, we have decided to develop a free, open programme for anyone (of any ability) to be able to solve a problem by making a game.
The programme will focus on the design and development of games (analogue or digital) or gamified activities for addressing serious issues/challenges/problems/opportunities. The initial pilot will be a gamified six-week programme that will involve weekly stages (missions) with sub-tasks (quests), where participants can level up based on their level of readiness. The levels and contents are developed based on the holistic and modular model for designing gamified learning developed at the lab. The layers can be visited and re-visited in an iterative and incremental manner to consolidate the design requirements and specifications.
With my experiences working and co-ordinating with different groups of people from photography peers to primary school teachers and community centre reps, I have been focusing on the community development around the programme. It is important that the community has a space space for individuals to feel included; although the programme is online, there will be waypoints throughout the six week pilot when the participants will come together to work together and problem solve collectively. For example, we will be hosting a Playgen card jam to help support participants to actively understand game dynamics and mechanics. I am also really excited to have Maha Bali on board with the programme, supporting the participants through the rapid prototype and testing phase.