Did you check out our DML workshop, ‘Play and Hack?’ If your answer is no, you missed out on a packed and energized session with an enthusiastic audience. We had such a great group of participants, and wanted to share out the excitement, as well as the resources we used in the session with anyone who might want to use them.
And Dixie Ching, Hive Research Lab (our acting photographer, who avoided being captured in any pictures at the event!)
Over 40 people showed up! We were shocked by the large numbers–we expected 15-20 people and didn’t print nearly enough handouts. We had educators, researchers, developers, and some people that just wanted to play.
We started by introducing the presenters, and then Dixie talked about best practices regarding collaboration. Next, Kevin introduced the Movable Game Jam model, and Juan led a mini-game jam. We started with hacking ROSHAMBO, which lead to a crazy round of “Rock, Paper, Dragontail!” That was followed by free play and hack time. Kevin led a Gravity Ether station, Judy showcased TaleBlazer, and Juan engaged folks with Twine. We finished with a Q&A, before going our merry way.
Our goal in this session was to inspire other groups to run Movable Game Jams in their local communities, and were pleased to hear murmurings that some folks were ready to bring game jams back to their city. In case you missed the session, here are some of the resources we shared:
- Hive Research Lab’s Jumpstart guide to running pop-ups
- Kevin’s guide to running game jams
- Judy’s TaleBlazer handout
I was also very pleased to be presenting at DML with such a great group of co-presenters, and so I wanted to end this post with some of their highlights or reflections.
- Overall, I thought the whole event had a very warm, relaxed and playful vibe. The audience seemed to value the tools and games presented and I saw pretty much full participation, which to me indicated that the activities seemed to make sense and seemed wholly appropriate and interesting to our crowd.
- In terms of room for improvement, 1) I wonder if the Jumpstart overview may have been more useful after everyone had run through the stations; 2) I wish I had had the foresight to have shared a Google Doc link for folks to stay connected. Presenting a space for future collaboration during the workshop could be a nice part of the model, even for kids.
- The Twine activity went well. There was a good understanding from the group on how the tool could be used and about the ‘choose your own adventure’ concept.
- I would have liked to have a deeper discussion in the beginning on how this activity links to creating interest in youth to explore similar activities, or how to frame it in ways that provide young people with a platform to connect with other youth.
- I liked that the three featured tools were quite different from each other, nice variety.
- As they say, “Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm”; and I agree with others that the session had a nice vibe — a mix of aspiration + “you can do this”
- I’m always worried at these events that adults aren’t as interested or able to dive into a game as youth, but that was no problem with this crowd. I wanted to run an especially open-ended station, and was pleased how much everyone just went with it, and really explored the Gravity Ether game.
- Loved the questions at the end, they were very specific and meaningful, like “How did you assess student learning?” and “How did you recap the event and give the student’s a chance to share out?” I felt like these indicated other groups were interested in thinking through the details needed to use ideas and models from the session.