super secret game designer

although i’ve been discussing ARG design and eventual inclusion of ARG design in a videogames and literacies course, today I feel like a super secret game designer. My partner in design and I made serious progress on our overall game design, transition from game to symposium design, and final mission design – including side missions to bridge ARG design with creative making and makerspace movement principles. writing it out like that seems daunting and not quite as squee as it feels right now. I’m starting to see just how much literature and creative writing have to add to overall videogame design (*ahem videogame companies) – story matters as it adds elements not previously considered. I’m also realizing just how glad I am I stumbled upon Losh’s super amazing books (Virtualpolitik and others) to really consider not just interactivity in story, but the rhetorical argument of technology. I presented on the interaction of content learning, quests and game design – but now those categories are becoming more complex. Design is not just game trajectory, it’s also storyline and interactivity which is where the connection to quests and content learning becomes very obvious. But, it’s also the design of the technology, the underlying argument or accidental argument made by technology (Losh’s chapter 5 on PowerPoint arguing is fantastic for understanding this). It’s the design of the story to organically transition into or introduce quests through the technology used.

Now as I’m considering the complexity of assigning similar design to students i’m considering which aspects need to be simplified for effectiveness in the classroom. If they design quests, is that enough, if they design quests and technology but don’t have story, is that enough. Then what do they write up, what do they present? As I’m designing learning for a videogame symposium through game design, I’m also considering how to design an assignment to teach students to design learning environments themselves. What product do I want from them at the end? A paper because it’s a composition course, but what else demonstrates learning? What happens if I leave this concept too open?

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