Few technologies have exploded into mainstream culture as quickly as video games. Nonexistent just a few decades ago, video games are now a multibillion dollar industry, with a presence in nearly every home (and pocket) in the country. With their rise in popularity, questions have arisen about how games can be used in industries other than entertainment – industries like education. And that is where our story begins.
During this session, we'll talk about our group, the Educational Gaming Commons, and discuss how and why we are using video games to make a big impact at Penn State University. We'll share some of the games we've created over the past several years and overview how they came to be. We'll discuss our game-development process – from napkin sketches to classroom deployment – and explain how that process has evolved over time. We'll break down our new game engine and share how it has changed the way we create new products. And of course, we'll share lessons learned from several years of making educational games – from aligning gameplay with learning, to addressing issues of accessibility – and our best strategies for keeping everyone (from players to stakeholders) happy.