Continuing on with looking at the great participant contributions in the GamesMOOC:
There was a great discussion (mainly) between grasshopper98 and akoutropoulos about the pros and cons of collaboration and competition in classroom games – how they can work to motivate (or otherwise) as well as some solid practical examples.
The question of Badges – something that seems to be at the heart of the current buzz around gamification – is chewed over here with some interesting thoughts about the nature of grades vs badges and their functional benefits. (And I put my 2 cents in at the end as colsim)
Another thread on using various social sites – including the Guild site Shivtr that the Game MOOC is hosted on – to incorporate badges and leveling raised a lot of interesting suggestions and some real world concerns about student privacy. The more I think about badges and levelling in these situations, the more I think that they really need to have tangible benefits as well as a clear description of the system for progression (how many “points” are needed to hit the next level, what actions earn how many points and what additional benefits/powers are attained by leveling up)
Beth links to an interesting looking paper in Game Studies – An approximation to Huizinga’s Homo Ludens that is just a tad tl:dr for me right now but a quick skim suggests that it delves into the notions of whether play might be considered serious (and thus significant) and whether this matters anyway.
The Machinima section of the forum has led me to Freeman’s Mind – the hilarious inner monologue of Half Life protagonist Gordon Freeman. This section also contains some other nice examples of Machinima (including Minecraft Machinima) and taught me that there is a sub-genre of machinima (arguably the documentary strand) known as Let’s Play videos, which are pretty much just players providing commentary as they play games.
Lotus sparks a great discussion on the nature of Virtual Identities (with a link to her blog post responding to some points made by JP Gee in his book What video games have to teach us) that delves into the value we put on our in game personas and what this means. Christopher looks at the other side of this (in some ways) by linking to the Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology, which analyses player personalities primarily in MMORPGs. (I follow Yahtzee’s pronunciation of this term as muh-mor-pug-guhs)
If you’re interested in ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) – to be honest, I want to be but so far just haven’t been grabbed by any that I’ve looked at – there are a couple of useful threads about them here
The majority of the remaining sections in the forum relate to housekeeping (introduce yourself type stuff) but there are a few good threads about organisations involved in game based learning and a catch-all miscellaneous section for ideas and announcements – Town Crier.
The final part of this overview of participant contributions to the GamesMOOC will look at the Journals (small blog posts?) that have been contributed.