3D GameLab: Days 3-4

Noodles & Yoshistar

How it is possible to be both simultaneously exhausted and energized?  The guildies are starting to assume leadership in the camp.  Woohoo! After Deadmanshand and Doveland Gears started modeling teen leadership in their teaching assistant activities, Yoshistar and Noodles took on the job of creating a Wii Olympics that took two days of tournaments to complete, thus earning them the title of Leaders of the Day.  In order to compete, everyone had to create a Mii, one of the first quests made available in our Quest Tracker.  The kids really enjoyed the physical aspect of gaming, continuing Wii sports gameplay even when tournaments had ended.  Team T3 won the Wii Olympics, and received gold medals.

Team T3, Gold medal winners of the Wii Olympics!

At the close of GameLab today, no one was aware it was time to go home because they were so engaged, and several students stayed on another half hour to continue their play and work.

Questing has been developing in the game tracker.  Chris and I are still adding daily quests.  During break time today, we asked the kids to share something they really enjoy about GameLab and to offer suggestions.  Several mentioned they really liked having goals everyday, and that the quests were fun.  Over half the class has achieve level 2 at this point, indicating that they completed at least four quests.  Several are at level 3 and 4 (6 quests and 8 quests completed).  Suggestions included bringing a Playstation 3 (we have Wii, GameCube, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 64), and several kids volunteered to bring their own games to play on it.  It was nice to take an outside break, sit under the trees, and breath some fresh summer air before heading back inside.

Many guildies arrive daily carrying backpacks filled with equipment.  This is all optional, because everything is provided in GameLab.  Yet they arrive with personal laptops, CDs, handheld games, cells phones, Wii equipment and more.  This group is smart, so smart.  Today Qdivision was explaining that he liked to download his game patches in our lab because the download rate was 28M, and at home he only had 8.  He showed me how he analyzed his speed and ping rate.  We have a core group that definitely enjoys playing Super Mario-style games.  They camp there for the entire period, laugh, game, and talk in Italian accents.  Several students created videos (gaming and non-gaming) using Animoto and other tools, and we decided to have a Film Fest with popcorn tomorrow so we could share their work with the whole class as an inspiration.

In four days, we’ve introduced blogging, teen leadership (Wii Olympics), quest tracking, video production (Animoto), screen shots, screen capture (Camtasia), shooting video (Flip cameras).  Tomorrow we move in World of Warcraft and the use of Ventrilo for game chat.  All activities are optional, with most kids reporting they love the freedom to do what they want to do, but also enjoying the structure of questing in order to have goals.  Fantastic!

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