Monday, 19 May 2014

A Bit about me

I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories was of playing games with my dad. He taught me how to play chess at a very early age. I still play occasionally today, though pretty badly. When I was a teenager my parents bought me a Dragon 32 computer. The vast wealth of games staggered me. Even though the graphics were (by today's standards) terrible, it was the game that counted. I would spend hours programming in new games, usually to find a syntax error of some sort. I even tried designing and making my own games. I can honestly say I was in love with games and gaming.

I then discovered Dungeons and Dragons, and my life changed again. Now gaming was something that you did with other people. To be honest I probably spent too much time playing D&D, but I learned a lot of important lessons about games and gaming.

I'm now older, and now a teacher, yet I still consider myself a gamer. I still play games, and it's never been easier to access games. Beautiful challenging games. I still get that rush of giddiness when I try a new game. Buying it and rushing home to try it out adrenalin pumping. What will the game hold? What will i need to do? Will it look right?

Recently though I've been introduced to a new idea in gaming (well new to me anyway). That of Gamification. I have to admit I first heard of it over a year ago, and didn't really think it had anything to excite me or change the way I approach what I do. All that has changed!

A couple of people helped to hasten that change. The truly inspiring Paul Andersen creator of Bozeman Science, and the equally inspiring Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy. If you haven't seen these videos then you should (then come back to me)



Right, you're back. Good. So now you see my inspiration. I then read Reality is Broken by Jane Mcgonigal, another inspiring experience. Since then I've read as much as I can get my hands on about game design. So here is my plan.

I teach A Level (16-18 year olds) Human Biology, and have decided to gamify the whole year, using Moodle and a lot of help from a variety of people currently too numerous to mention at the moment.

What follows is my experience of this gamification experiment.

Here goes!!

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