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Games are good: a comprehensive list of game-centric and game-adjacent teaching resources

Author: e.ashman

With the current school closures, the vast majority of children are currently being home schooled and we want to provide you with a comprehensive list of resources that you could use to engage your little gamer with something that is both educational and fun!

This list includes Digital Schoolhouse's own workshop resources which are suitable for delivering at home. Most workshops would normally be delivered over several hours, giving you plenty of content for your learner to get their teeth into. You access editable versions of these resources, you just need to sign up here for free.

We have also called on the knowledge base of our lead teachers; asking them to contribute their favourite resources that make use of video games (both educational games and recreational games that have an educational twist) or that teach game design or the video games industry.

We hope you enjoy them and if you have a resource that you would like to see added please get in touch.

Remember to share images of your #ComputingAtHome activities on Twitter and tag @DigSchoolhouse.

Crazy Mazes

About: This workshop teaches learners how to create a maze game in Scratch.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Let's Play Code Combat: Playing with Python

About: Code Combat is a multiplayer game to help people learn to program. Through solving puzzles and defeating ogres players progress through the game levels to learn increasingly complex programming concepts.

This workshop uses the Code Combat resource to help set the context for the day. Pupils begin the workshop by registering and playing a few levels of the game for themselves, before being asked to apply their computational thinking skills to attempt to decompose the main elements of the game. The magic of computing is then introduced through magic tricks to teach sequencing and algorithmic thinking.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Loopy Games: An Iterative Games Design Workshop

About: Loopy Games aims to help pupils design and create their own game using methodology that reflects the processes followed in the UK Games Industry. Developed in consultation and collaboration with Kuato Studios and the Video Games Ambassadors, this workshop brings industry expertise into the classroom.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Oddventurous Gaming: Play the Game, Be the Game!

About: We all play games; it’s one of the most popular leisure activities in the UK. Whether it’s playing video games or board games or even physical games; participating in them can help spark curiosity and develop important critical thinking & problem solving skills as well as address whatever issues the designer originally intended. This workshop aims to teach pupils key concepts of games design. Developed in collaboration with Disney and Playniac the Digital Schoolhouse brings knowledge from the games industry into the classroom

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Just Dance with the Algorithm

About: Just Dance with the Algorithm was developed by Digital Schoolhouse in partnership with Ubisoft, and is based upon the original workshop ‘Get with the Algo-rhythm’.  This workshop combines dance and video games to teach core programming and computing concepts in a way that appeals to a diverse range of students. The workshop begins by creating flow charts of instructions to perform dance moves from popular music tracks.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Machine Code Mario

About: This workshop introduces students to binary in an innovative way. Starting with investigating why computers use binary, students explore how to represent decimal numbers in binary and then how to use this knowledge to create Super Mario courses using Super Mario Maker 2 that test the players understanding of binary representation. The design, exploration and development stages of the beginner workshop fit nicely into KS2.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Part-Baked Games

About: Often, learning how to create a game can be quite daunting, especially when you consider all the elements that are needed to build it. Part-Baked Games provides the learner with the opportunity to create five different games that are inspired by the BAFTA YGD rule cards in order to teach learners how to build common game mechanics and therefore provide them with the tools needed to create their own game at a later date. Each of the games are provided in a ‘Part-Baked’ form which means that all assets required for the game have been added and laid out as though the game were complete.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Part-Baked Games: Chef's edition

About: Part-Baked Games: Chef’s edition has been developed in partnership with Outright Games and introduces students to the concept of prototyping; both on paper and digitally. Learners begin by creating a paper prototype for their own version of Gigantosaurus and then a digital prototype based on these ideas.

Students can use the recipe cards included in the resource pack for this workshop to aid them in building their games. They then compare this prototype to the realised title and choose one feature to add to their own game. Students then modify their game.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

About: Develop your own version of Starlink in Scratch, Construct 3 or Unity in this workshop.

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

Switched on Sound

About: This workshop gives students the opportunity to explore some of the history of computerised music, including automation, punch cards and the development of digital music by composing their own multitracked piece of music using a Nintendo LABO piano. LABO is Nintendo’s DIY cardboard kit crafted to work with Nintendo Switch. 

⇒ DOWNLOAD HERE

 

External resources

Code combat

About: Code Combat is a multiplayer game to help people learn to program. Through solving puzzles and defeating ogres players progress through the game levels to learn increasingly complex programming concepts.

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Code Kingdoms

About: Learn how to make your own Minecraft mods and Roblox games with Code Kingdoms.

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Rapid Router

About: Rapid router is a game that has been created to teach the first principles of computer programming that are covered in the National Computing curriculum.

⇒ ACCESS HERE

MicroBit Game Projects

About: A set of ideas for simple games that you can code for your MicroBit

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Lightbot

About: LightBot is a puzzle game based on coding; it secretly teaches you programming logic as you play!

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Cisco Binary Numbers Game

About: Increase your understanding of binary numbers and conversion speed by playing this fast-paced game. Before long you'll be doing these conversions in your head.

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Scratch

About: Want to create a game but not sure where to start? Scratch is an excellent visual programming language suitable for KS2 students. Visit their ideas section for tutorials on creating all sorts of games and interactive projects.

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Unity

About: Want to create games like a pro? Then Unity is for you! Unity is an industry standard game engine for creating 3D games - During the COVID-19 crisis, they’re supporting the community with complimentary access to Unity Learn Premium for three months (March 19 through June 20).

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Construct 3

About: Construct 3 is a great mid-level between Scratch and Unity, it allows you to create stand-alone games that can be shared in several different ways but doesn't require any coding. It is also brilliant for creating 2D games. 

⇒ ACCESS HERE

Thank you for visiting, if you have a resource that you would like to see added please get in touch and don't forget to share images of your #ComputingAtHome activities on Twitter and tag @DigSchoolhouse.

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