After creating a game on Sploder.com this weekend, I was excited to share my learning with my students. Miraculously, I found a small chunk of time (10 minutes or so) at the very end of the day when I was able to pull aside one student who had had a particularly great day during class. I explained to him that I too was going to school, in a sense, to be a better teacher, and that for one of my assignments I had been allowed to create a game.
I was nervous pulling up the website, wondering what this sweet student, D, would think of the game that I had struggled with so much a few days before. While we waited for the page to load, I asked him some questions about his previous experience with gaming.
Me: Do you play games when you get home from school? What kind of games do you like?
D: Yeah, I play SonicDash and Minecraft mostly. Minecraft is my favorite.
Me: Like, Sonic the Hedgehog? I used to play that!
D: Cool, I didn’t know they had games then… (cue me feeling OLD…)
After the game loaded, I allowed him to explore through the training level, taking notes as he played. I made sure to not give him too much direction; I wanted him to be able to explore the nuances of the game on his own. I noticed immediately that D was able to ‘pick up’ on the movements and direction of the game – it took me several tries to master movement while he effortlessly switched between the arrow keys and the mouse. I was also pleased to see that D read the pop-up directions carefully, making sure to pay attention and wait until the entire message had scrolled.
D carefully played through each of the three levels, pausing only here and there to ask clarifying questions. At the end of the game, I studied his 9-year-old face, eagerly looking for some sort of positive indication. I prompted D with a few questions to see some of the things he liked and disliked – his feedback was definitely interesting. Below is a short list of likes and dislikes, detailing the specifics of D’s thoughts.
- Puzzles were fun, I liked solving them
- I like that you got to learn how to play along the way
- The maze was cool
- I don’t like that you have to look down on your person, I want to change the perspective
- I wish you got to use more weapons or switch them out
Overall, my experience with sharing my game was a largely positive one. I was pretty proud that D deemed my game “cool,” and enjoyed seeing someone else play what I had worked so hard to create. If you’ve created a game for this class, I would definitely encourage you to share it with your kiddos – I almost didn’t, but I’m so glad I did!