Friday, February 08, 2008

Everything I Need to Know about Teaching Game Design, I Learned in Kindergarten

In a Gamasutra article, Nick Burton of Rare urges developers to take an active role in shaping game education. I feel Nick's frustration; in spite of the great long-term rewards of getting involved with the local colleges and universities, very few game developers take the time to do so.

It reminds me of a story I read when I was young. It goes something like this:

The educator goes among the industry and asks, "who would like to help me craft a curriculum to take talented and eager high-school students and teach them how to make games?"

And Loosey Goosey says "not I, for I have to do the schedules for next milestone."

So the educator does it herself, and then returns to ask, "who would like to help me find talented high-school students so that I may educate them in our game development program?"

And Henny Penny says "not I, for I'm busy making textures for our models."

So the educator does it herself, and then returns to ask, "who would like to teach classes to these students, to show them how to make games?"

And Foxy Loxy says "not I, for I have to write some concept docs for this publisher RFP."

So the educator does it herself, and then returns to ask, "who would like to mentor these students, to show them what it's like in the industry and talk to them about breaking in?"

And Piggy Wiggy says "not I, for I've got to finish this code for alpha."

So the educator does it herself, and finally returns to ask, "who would like to hire these brilliant students who know how to make games?"

And everyone says "I do, send them to our HR department right away!"

Okay, maybe the original story was about baking a cake or something, but you get the idea.

1 comment:

Steve Swink said...

Ha, delightful!

We've chatted from time to time; I always feel like I'm reading scribbles from a kindred spirit when I come here. Google up Gamestar Mechanic if you haven't seen/heard about it - great stuff from Gamelab/MacArthur/Katie Salen. Or, you know, find her in the hallways next week. Me too, for that matter, would love to rap on teaching methods.

Cheers,

Steve