Once again this course continues to interest me and grasp my attention more and more at the time I am losing interest and wanting to be done with all my other courses. The final activity/group project that we had in our last module was really appealing to me. The project was basically to come with the idea of an educational game to raise awareness towards some of the major problems in Egypt.
Our group came up with the idea of a historical educational game. It was chosen to be as such as history, historical places, monuments and even achievements are totally underestimated in Egypt by the people and the even the governments. Not to mention that realizing the importance of history greatly enhance the emotional attachment of the people to their country and their sense of nationalism. It also emphasizes on the idea that history keeps on repeating itself and most of the things invented or discovered nowadays are evolution of ideas and theories that have already existed in the past.
The process of creating the game was really fun and beneficial. Most of what we have learned about thinking creatively and functioning in a group to come up with creative ideas was implemented in this project. We started by voting on the preferences of the group members, each presented his/her argument about why they favor a topic over the other. Of course judgment was totally differed until we all agreed on a topic. After agreeing on the game’s objective, we turned our white hats on and started collecting some data such as; to which age group is the game intended, what are the most played games by such age group, etc. Then the process of thinking divergently started to figure out how to implement the agreed upon ideas in a creative, interactive, fun and most importantly educational way. At first we were favoring more the idea of having it as an electronic game, but then we decided to have our game as a board game, to be able to create a decent demo for it. Another reason is that we think that technology is becoming an anti social cancer that is spreading everywhere; we wanted to involve physical interaction to our game.
Creating such game helped us to improve our creative skills, ability to work in groups and communication skill (especially that we had to communicate using emails, texting and phone calls due to time limitation). The last stage involved getting other groups feedback about our game, to find out if we lacked any detail or were unintentionally functionally fixed on an opinion or idea that may have had some flaws. We explained to the objective of the game and what is it, how is it played and its rules. They did help us to spot few drawbacks in how the game is played and provided us with ideas to improve it.
The problem is that we tend to think of education in general that it should be something serious and fun should be within limits when it comes to education so that the kids won’t miss the “moral” “benifit” from the game, thus when tend to come up with an educational its usually boring or inefficient as a game. However imagine having a game that joins between fun and educational purpose, a game that unconsciously truly leaves an impact on kids and even adults.
No matter how old I get, this brilliant game stays my favorite and I have a lot of fun playing it! It basically combines some of the important factors mentioned in the page titled “What makes a good game?”, that should be present in an educational game. This game has a tremendous stock of vocabulary that anyone who play this game would probably benefit from. It also helps in teaching the kids or even adults how to work or function under pressure, communicate with their group, be creative in delivering/presenting the words and it even enhances their drawing/ artistic skills. The game also involves a challenging and fun atmosphere.
Pictionary can be uttered slightly to be even more educational than it already is through changing the cards to more educational subjects, like cells or organs from biology for instance! In my humble opinion, not only pictionary but any board game is like a pizza, it can have many different tastes just through changing few ingredients!