Revised Unit 2010-11

The Problem

Kids these days' are more interested in video games than school.
Guiding Question: Is it is possible to design a video games for educational purposes?
Area of Interaction: Community and Service

Design Brief

1. You will research different kinds of video games and reflect on what kind of video games might make the best educational games.
2. You will practice making simple video games using the SCRATCH programming environment. As we are in a school environment we will focus on NON VIOLENT games.
3. You will modify an existing SCRATCH game (or make your own) so that it has educational benefit.

DB Task 1: What kinds of games might work?

Your first task is to play some video games and reflect on how they might be turned into an educational game. Please only play 1 or 2 games of the same type and then try some different ones.

Make a new Google Document called Video Game Project Journal and share it with philm. You will use this document to record your reflections during this project. Every time you play a different game put a link to the game in your page and write 2 or 3 sentences reflecting on whether that game could be ALTERED to make it educational, and HOW it could be altered. KEEP IN MIND WE ARE TRYING TO BRAINSTORM ALTERATIONS THAT WOULD STILL KEEP THE GAME INTERESTING.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT: 3 brainstorms on 3 different kinds of game.

Game Sites

Mini Clip
Fun Brain
CBC Kids Games

When you have finished reviewing these professional games go to the Tech 8 folder on Student Server and try some of the Scratch Games made by last year's students. How could you improve on these games?

DB Task 2: What do we already know?

Read ONE of the articles below and write a 4 or 5 sentence summary of the main points in your shared google document.
Computer games could become part of the school curriculum after researchers found they had significant educational value.

The phenomenon of the videogame as an agent of mental training is largely unstudied; more often, games are denigrated for being violent or they're just plain ignored. They shouldn't be.

The use of computer games in education is going to be tested out in four secondary schools in the UK.

Children can learn more if they are able to play games with computers or video cameras in their lessons

DB Task 3: How does SCRATCH work?

If you have never used SCRATCH before or need a refresher work through this tutorial.

Go to the Tech 8 folder of the Shared Server and play some of the SCRATCH games made by students last year. As you play have a look at the instruction blocks they used to make their games. Write a 4 or 5 sentence (min) reflection on your Google Doc that describes the problems with some of these games.

DB Task 4: Investigating Scratch

Computer programming is the art of writing instructions so that a computer can do a certain job. A computer carries out tasks by following a series of instructions. A set of these instructions is called a program. These instructions have to be written using a computer programming language.
There are many of these languages, but they all follow similar rules. The aim of these lessons is to teach you these basic rules using a graphically based language called Scratch which is easy to understand. The rules can then be applied to more complex languages later on.

Clock Face
Ball Game
FOREVER Block (repeated movement)
Costumes (to give the illusion of moving)
IF condition and SENSING control
Efficient coding
Importing and Changing BACKGROUNDS
Importing Sprites
Editing the sizes of Sprites
Using the NUMBERS control

Bonus: Can you make the second hand 'tick' and make the clock go 'Gong' every minute?
Importing and renaming Sprites
Using other Motion blocks
Getting Sprites to interact using sensing and number controls
Keeping score

Right Click and Save As

Assignments: Download the instructions below and follow them. Please save all your code before erasing it to try something new. Use appropriate file names.

Task 5: Scratch Quiz

Download the SCRATCH quiz file below and save it on your computer. Type in your name and answers to the questions then email your finished quiz to philm.


Now that you have some idea how to program with Scratch it is time to start making a simple maze game. Instructions for how to do this are in the Maze Game Instructions file below. When you have finished making the maze game you should know how to do the following:

Design a maze background
Resize a sprite
Move a sprite under keyboard control
Stop the sprite moving over the background
Get ‘prizes’ to disappear
Score with the prizes
Get the prize to appear again unexpectedly
Choose your own prizes
Randomly alter the grid.

Planning Details

You have 3 class periods to plan and create your game, trouble shoot any glitches and add any extra features.
Before you start making the game you need to decide on the following:
1) What is the theme of your game going to be? Remember eventually we want to try and add an educational part to this project so you might choose a theme with educational value.
2) How will your background(s) support your theme?
3) How will your Sprite choice support your theme?
4) How will your choice of Prizes support your theme?
5) How will you modify the game to make it more appealing?


Further Resources
My First Wiki Page of Scratch Resources
6 class intro to programming with Scratch Course
Original Unit on