Gamestar Mechanic

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Games, I.A., Squire, K.
Design Thinking in Gamestar Mechanic: The Role of Gamer Experience on the Appropriation of the Discourse Practices of Game Designers. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on International Conference for the Learning Sciences - Volume 1. pp. 257–264 International Society of the Learning Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2008).


Gamestar Mechanic is an online game design platform built as a game about making games, with an embedded design thinking curriculum built in collaboration between professional game designers and learning scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Gamestar Mechanic curriculum is built into an adventure game where players are invited to explore a virtual world and rediscover how good games are made by taking on a series of “game jobs”, as they strive to become more skillful and popular “game mechanics”.

In Gamestar Mechanic, players take on the role of “game mechanics”, characters that are brought to a fantasy world where the economy, culture and lifestyle are fueled by well-functioning games. In the plot of the game however, a catastrophe has taken place resulting in that the overall system upon which the world functions has been broken, and the elements which once comprised well made games have fallen to disrepair. Mechanics must interact with world elements in the form of game creatures (e.g. heroes and enemies) through which they can make and repair games and gradually restore harmony to the world

In some ways, Gamestar Mechanic may seem similar to constructionist approaches aimed at facilitating computing as a form of literacy (DiSessa, 2000; Resnick, 1994). However, a fundamental difference between these approaches and the Gamestar Mechanic approach is that in constructionist tools such as Logo or Boxer, the emphasis has commonly been placed on teaching students the fundamentals of programming, in hopes that once familiar with the tools, they will appropriate them in their own designs. Conversely, Gamestar Mechanic places an emphasis on teaching what James Gee calls the Discourse of game design, a term which refers to ways of doing, talking, thinking and using tools that game designers enact in professional practice (Gee, 2005). In other words, while constructionist approaches to computational literacy have emphasized learning to make meaningful creations with computers, the approach proposed in Gamestar Mechanic focuses on learning how to make those meaningful creations through games.

Gee calls identities such as these big ‘D’ Discourses (Gee, 1999, 2005), an umbrella term that encompasses multiple sociocultural theories of knowledge (Hutchins, 1995; Lave & Wenger, 1991), and refers to “ways of knowing, talking, doing and being in the world” practiced by people affiliated to a certain identity. The term stands in contrast with little ‘d’ discourse, which refers to instances of language-in-use through which people situate meaning and construct reality for themselves and others at any given time.

Community

Wiki - http://gamestarmechanic.wikia.com/wiki/Gamestar_Mechanic_Wiki
Gamestar Mechanic is a game and community designed to teach kids the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment.
https://sites.google.com/a/elinemedia.com/gsmlearningguide/home/orientation-to-gamestar

The game features three fully integrated components:

  1. Play. Gamestar Mechanic features a rich single-player Quest where players learn the principles of game design through an exciting adventure game. Set in a 'steampunk' world created and run by game designers, the narrative provides critical scaffolding for the player. As the player progresses through the Quest they learn the principles of game design and earn 'sprites' that enable them to design and publish their own games.
  2. Design. Once players have shown a certain level of mastery they earn a game design workshop where they can use their 'sprites' to design their own original games. The workshop features a drag and drop game building tool that enables players to design a wide variety of games, which they can publish for others to play and review.
  3. Share. The game also features a vibrant community called Game Alley where players can publish, review and collaborate on games designed by other players. Game Alley creates a community of practice allowing designers to get feedback from their peers as well as professional game designers and offers regular challenges and contests.

Game Alley

Game Alley is also where players can review or comment on each other’s games and provide helpful critical feedback as part of the iterative design process. These reviews have both Ratings and simple Review Headings to guide feedback.

In "Game Alley" you can play games made by other players, rate and review them, and participate in game design challenges and contests for real prizes as well as fame.

Players can share a game by linking the game, emailing it, embedding it in another website, or marking it as a favorite. Sharing a game will make that game available even to people who are not logged in to Gamestar Mechanic. Players can show their games to their parents and friends, even if they don’t have Gamestar Mechanic accounts.

Gamestar Mechanic Game Alley - Game alley is a mode reachable by clicking the button on the top bar. It lets you play games other mechanics created. It has several sections for games like

  • Featured Games: Games selected by the Gamestar team.
  • Challenge Winners: For people who have won national contests on the Gamestar Mechanic platform.
  • Games from Online Learning Program Students: A special section for games that were created in the Online Learning Program.
  • Top Rated Games: A selection of highly acclaimed games.

Move the mouse over a game title to display the following information:

  • The number of people who have played the game
  • The number of times the game has been played
  • The number of reviews the game has received

What user have on Gamestar:

  • Rank: Next to your username, you can find your rank on the site.
  • Badges
  • Draft games
  • Published Games
  • Showcase Game
  • The Projects section, which appears only if you’re leading or attending a class, contains challenges just as in the Challenges & Contests section
  • The Submitted Games section lists all the games you have submitted for contests or special quest missions.
  • Template Games - Games in the Template Games section can be copied into your workshop, containing pre-created arrangements that you can edit any way you like.

So it is social web-site and you can add it to the collection of socilal objects network:

  • Edit Game
  • Share Game



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