Tag Archives: gaming

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Review: The Interactive Past

I frequently write here about the potential for using games in the classroom, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting transdisciplinary engagement with this idea. So I was excited to see the recent open-access Sidestone Press release of The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos. The project is interesting both as an academic approach (it was funded via Kickstarter) and as a co…

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Playing at Computational Thinking with The Tessera

Earlier this month, a team of researchers from Brigham Young University and University of Maryland, led by Derek Hansen and Kari Kraus, launched a new free educational game The Tessera: Ghostly Tracks. Funded in part by the NSF, the game is a beautiful way to explore principles of computational thinking in a multiplayer, narrative-driven setting while unraveling a ghost story.

The web-based game works well on any fairly up-to-date browser, and doesn’t require any downloads. To play, just make a

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Making Games for Web and iOS with Stencyl


In this series, I’ve looked at a lot of newcomer-friendly tools for making games in the classroom or as projects with and for students, including Twine, Scratch, Construct 2, inklewriter, Inform 7, and Adventure Game Studio. While some of these tools are successfully cross-platform, many of the best tools for making graphical games are PC-only. This year, I’m teaching an online course that includes game development as part of exploring digital narrative. As students aren’t meeting in a universi…

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Making Mini Games with Twiny Jam


Twine is my favorite tool for working with would-be game designers new to interactive media: as I’ve noted in the past, both the original Twine and Twine 2.0 are newbie-friendly and flexible platforms for building hypertextual experiences. However, embarking on a Twine project can be daunting: the possibilities of building choice-driven narratives can lead down infinite paths. It can be tricky to build an assignment or workshop structure that keeps Twine texts down to scale without cutting off …

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Analog Distractions: Cooperative Board Games Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert

If you’ve ever read one of our ProfHacker holiday gift guides, you’ll know that lots of us are big fans of board games, and in particular of the new breed of smart board games that have appeared in increasing numbers in the past decade or so. Board games are oddly hip, and for good reason—there’s more variety and complexity in the genre than ever before.

Board games are a big part of my family life; my wife, kids, and I love to play in the evenings and especially on the weekends. We’re always lo…

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Playing In The Classroom With The Ivanhoe Game

[This is a guest post by Stephanie Kingsley. She holds a Master's in English literature from the University of Virginia, where she specialized in 19th-century American literature and textual studies. She was one of this year's Scholars' Lab's Praxis Fellows, and she plans to work in digital editing, publishing, and project management. For more information, visit http://stephanie-kingsley.github.io/. --Ed.]

This past April, the University of Virginia Scholars’ Lab‘s Praxis Fellows released their…

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2048, Gamemaking, and Creativity


If you’ve been hanging out on social media lately someone has probably linked you to an addictive time-wasting number game, 2048. But did you know you can create your own customized version? The free “Make Your Own 2048” tool is delightful to work with, and it’s really easy to make simple changes to the text or create an entire makeover through replacing the number boxes with images.

The story of 2048 is a great starting point for discussing originality in a world of convenient digital clones. …

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Making Adventure Games in the Classroom

My love of games started outside the classroom when I first discovered wannabe pirates and world-dominating evil tentacles in adventure games. Adventure games are generally story-based games where you take the role of a character on a quest. They almost always focus on puzzles rather than combat or reflex-driven gameplay, which makes them particularly accessible to new gamers. When I talk to educators who are more familiar with current mainstream videogames like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Dut…

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Alternate Reality Games in the Classroom


A few years ago I attended my first conference with an alternate reality game implemented as a way of engaging participants as a learning community, and ever since I’ve been hooked. Amanda Visconti and I ran several conference games at THATCamps involving escaped video game characters and invading aliens. Alternate Reality Games (or ARGs) are built on the idea of a shared story invading the physical world, and can include scenarios of invading aliens, impending apocalypse, or mysteries waiting…

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Weekend Reading: Disability and Accessibility Edition

IntelliKeys keyboard

An Intellikeys keyboard, featuring a variety of layouts for users with limited mobility.

Here in the United States, another week of extremely cold weather has passed, but at least the days are getting longer, providing us with more sunshine. (Okay, I like to tell myself that this makes a difference…) Below I’ve provided you with five interesting reads for the weekend, all of them related to issues of disability and accessibility.

The Privilege of Snow,” by Kara Ayers (@DrKaraAyers):

While anyo…