Fire Sale Class Activity

A great source of exercises to use in the game design unit are those in the book “Game Design Foundations 2nd Edition” by Roger E. Pederson. I like this book, not as a course book for students, but as background reading and ideas for those teaching game design. For me it's real worth are the exercises.

I used one of the exercises from the book for my observation by my mentor. For some reason we ended up scheduling the observation for the last week of term! I wanted a fun lesson that would be fitting for the holiday spirit that all the students seem to get into at this time of year, ie not really wanting to work.
So the exercise I went for is one I had been meaning to try with a class, and had ear marked as possibly a great induction week activity for the unit. Basically the exercise has the students in groups bidding for the IP of a games company that has gone bust (Acclaim in this case from the book, but this could be updated to a more recent company that has gone under like THQ), and then having to come up with game play and USP for a sequel for the IP they had won in the auction. They would then do a brief presentation for each of their won IP, and be scored secretly by their class mates. With the winning group being announced at the end.
Below is my lesson plan for the observation. When I gave a copy to my mentor he said he would like to see a starter activity. I tried to argue my case that there really wasn't enough time as I was pushing the limits of the one hour twenty lesson time as it was. But my mentor insisted he would like to see one.
So before the class took place a little bit of inspiration took place on my part and I came up with a very basic starter activity. That activity was in their groups to come up with a team name, and have one member come to the front and write the team name on the white board.
For the lesson I made up bid folders for each group, that had 7 envelopes in for the group to put their bids in, a sheet briefly giving background on Acclaim, sheets giving a brief outline for each of the IPs that the groups would be bidding on, a copy of the slide with the bidding rules on, and a copy of the slide with what each group had to produce for their IP that they had won.
The lesson itself went well, the students were fully engaged (which my mentor commented on afterwards), and they really got into the whole exercise. The feedback I got was on the whole very positive, I could of explained things to the students a bit better, and swapping between an iPad and PC was also seen as a negative. But I was on the whole very happy with the feedback, and if it had been graded would of got a 2.
I liked the exercise a lot, and definitely will be using it again. For me the lessons I enjoy the most are the ones where I get the students to be creative and come up with ideas. They always amaze me with their creativity, and it fires my imagination also.



One Response to “Fire Sale Class Activity”

  1. TotallyNotJoe Says:

    i like the way you engage your students

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