Watching the Millennials in action part 2

The middle schoolers of teentek, and all our middle schoolers for that matter, are HUGE into this flash game.

Monday I couldn’t keep the boys off of it. Every time I turned around
someone had it open and was playing it. So I took a step back into the
corner of the room and just watched (Seriously…I went and stood in
the corner!) I watched as they slowly opened the game back up and
started playing, I observed them, watching their actions and
interactions with the game:

“You made this level?”
“Yep!”
“How’d you do that?”

“There’s a level builder you can download and create your own levels for the game.”

That was it, my in. So I went to the kid who made the level and as I approached the game got minimized.

“Bring that back up…you made this?”
“Yeah.”

“How did you do it?”

“You just download the level builder and place the different markers
where you want them. The trick is placing them perfectly so that you
don’t have to even move your guy…he just bounces off these and misses
those and wins all by himself…that’s how I created this one anyway.”

“How long did this take you?”

“Oh, about 4 hours.”

“So, could we download this level builder here at school and create
levels and release the game on teentek with teentek levels?”

“I guess, the cool part is the file is only 1.65mb. There are 1000s of
levels here and the file is still that small, isn’t that amazing?”

“Yeah, that is amazing?”
“What kind of licensing is on the game?”
“I’ll check that Mr. U.” another student says as they run off to grab a laptop.
“It’s freeware and it says on the web site ‘distribute like hell’.”
“OK, so why don’t you teach these other guys how to create levels and we’ll try to release the game next week.”
“SWEET!” with wide eyes

That was Monday. Today I had two other students approach me. One wants
to make a game that teaches you how to kill spam on your
computer. The other is a skateboarding game. What’s the learning
happening here? Is there any? How about the engagement with technology?

[tags]gaming, conversations, teentek[/tags]

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