Wow! We’ve just finished our first week of classes, and it’s very busy in the department. This is my final update on 3D GameLab, as we completed our three weeks of gamelab teen leadership camp at the end of July.
Our final week involved several tournaments, and a Wii Olympics. After the kids had spent time designing their own games in Splodder, we had a chance to play one another’s games, and vote on best game–Harrison was our big winner! Chris also set up a series of Olympic events with kids earning points for their teams.
Here’s a fun video showing Deadman and Yoshistar competing in a dance off. Gaming through the Wii, and the idea of tournaments and Olympics are one way we can encourage kids to stay healthy and get active. So instead of thinking of technology as something that pulls kids away from sports, we can actually rethink it as a tool to get kids interested in athletics and health.
We also had an amazing visit from Jamie Huntley from Leadership 1st. He led all of us through activities and discussion related to core attributes of LEADERSHIP, and the kids had some very open and honest discussions about themselves, how they relate to others, and how gamelab had provided them an environment to connect with people with common interests. Online safety came up as a natural topic, and they explored strategies for online gaming that promoted respect and safety. Funny thing–kids want parent involvement, they want to be safe, and they are looking for guidance! When we can move out of the instructor lecture mode, and into honest discussions about what it means to be a kid in an digital society, it’s amazing how much we can learns from kids and they can learn from each other about strategies for healthy communications.
Since the completion of gamelab, we’ve heard from several of the kids (one set up a super secret facebook group), a couple of others want more quests to continue on in the meta-game quest tracker (still in alpha, working toward a beta), and a grandparent wrote to tell us how her grandaughter had become more outgoing since participating in the camp. Great outcomes for a 3 week summer camp!