Making, Playing, and Hacking Games: Reflections and Connections from #clmoooc
This was originally posted as a blog for Making Learning Connected 2014, otherwise known as CLMOOC. These reflections and connections come from the third week’s Make Cycle focused on Making, Playing, and Hacking games by Joe Dillon, Denver Area Writing Project and Terry Elliott, Western Kentucky Writing Project. Image by Joe Dillon CC BY
Object of Play
This game you’ve just unboxed this cycle is a game about reflecting. Scour your experience from Make Cycle 3’s exploration of games in learning in order to reflect on what you’ve played, learned and decided. Decided? Yes, decided. What did you decide this week about yourself, about games, about learning, and about play?
James Carse has suggested in his seminal work on games and play that there are two types of game and game play, finite and infinite. Reflection is an infinite game. When we pool our reflections by laying them out around the unfolded board of our digital spaces in CLMOOC, those reflections can help us a sharpen our shared purpose.
The most important thing to know about this game is that if you are reflecting, you’re winning. This larger game is about making sense of what we do in CLMOOC, signing on to think together in shifting ways usually for no credentials, no certificates. We just ante in and learn together in open collaboration—to make and play, share and learn; to write and see what response comes back, what bread comes back on the waters.
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The parts keep evolving and the rules, too. Will you?
How to Set Up
Take out the old card table or kneel down next to that circle of string and marbles. If no one brings their Connected Learning principles, this game will be over before it starts. Will you bring yours just to be safe? Here’s one set up, but there are more and better—yours.
The game begins when you start to make meaning of what you have experienced in this distributed digital space that has drawn us all together, and in the spaces you’ve taken your play and learning during the week. You never have to wait your turn but if you draw a blank you can choose to skip a turn. You can pass until you’re sparked by what someone else reflects or decides. Someone like…well, you know the usual suspects, but there are others as well, some lurking, some undiscovered, some just waiting to be invoked like a blank tile in Scrabble.
If you reflected, you won. Any players with any points at the end of this reflection game win. (Maybe this is too many winners, but we don’t think so.) After all our game rewards the Connected Learning core values of Equity, Social Connection and Full Participation.
In CLMOOC you score yourself and do with that score whatever you need to as an educator and a learner. As players ante up their reflections, give CLMOOC one point every time we articulate our shared purpose as educators committed to games, play and learning. Give yourself 10 points every time you make a commitment to stretch yourself and your practice as a result of game week. Lurkers win, too. Lurkers get 10 points by observing and quietly practicing. (Only you know who you are.) Ten more points if you join in the play with the community. Give yourself 10 points every time you share that commitment with those around you in digital spaces… and in all those spaces constructed of bricks, mortar, drywall and carpet; spaces like classrooms, libraries, museums and parks. Give yourself a point every time you laugh while you reflect.
Beginning on Monday, Mia Zamora and Erica Holan Lucci from the Kean University Writing Project will invite us to hack our writing. It promises to be a creative week. We’re looking forward to making with Mia, Erica, and everyone in our broadening community. We always look forward to seeing contributions related to How-to guides and memes. We also hope this exploration of games helps us continue to weave play into our learning.