From the first workshop, we had a list of feelings and actions that our participants associated with moments of empowerment when it comes to learning. We also asked them to think of a story where they felt empowered and to describe an action that was associated with the story.
The participants were then asked to design a learning environment for different age groups that they imaged would exist 35 years from now.
After the initial workshop, we used some of the ideas that came out around empowerment to hold a second workshop where we asked our participants to design a short segment of game play. The idea of this workshop was to experiment with the use of the composition box for game design and to have rapid prototyping of games. Besides seeing what elements were common across the games and how they used the elements from the first workshop, a goal was to see where their needed to be more structure and where there needed to be more freedom for the participants to be able to successfully prototype games.
One thing that we found about the process what that there needed to be more set-up around the premise. Often the participants were worried about what was going to happen next and thinking about the end product. More structure around cementing each step of the process would be very beneficial.
From the second workshop, we found that our participants were very focused on having dialogue between the different players and having a discussion. Along with this, they often had the different players having goals they were trying to achieve individually in the game.
Based upon the first two workshops, we decided to develop a role playing game. The game was centered around the idea of getting different stakeholders in learning (e.g. teachers, administrators, parents, community members) together to discuss important issues for education in a fictional future. By having the players role play and take on the different roles, they would not be as tied to their personal beliefs and would be more open to listening to other player’s concerns and values. We will have another post with a more detailed description of the game.
Our last workshop was to play test the game. Because the game was in a first phase, we helped to GM the game so that if any major issues were encountered we could help to work through them and keep the game moving. We found the game to be very fun and enjoyable. We found some things to be necessary to add to the game play, such as a meet and greet at the beginning for the characters to get to know one another, which we have added. Other things went very smoothly. The players for the most part easily jumped into their character and were comfortable adding and developing the future world as the game played out.