Neil Ferguson‘s mis-adventures in gaming are highlighted on Richard Mehlinger’s blog on HASTAC in a a post which reinforces the dangers of non-gamers getting swept up by the gee-whiz of digital games. I’ve always been wary of digital games for teaching, which is why I’ve always used old fashion non-digital game play and design in my history courses. Continue reading “Theory=Model=Game”

Reworking Courses 2011

The best time to plan next years courses is right after this year’s end and I am already sketching out some revisions to my options for the coming year. Some old assessments are going, some new stuff is in and one course is going in reverse. Continue reading “Reworking Courses 2011”

Games in Three Parts

Good computer games should come in three parts. I don’t mean in terms of gameplay, I mean in terms of architecture. Well designed business client-server applications have three main parts, database, business rules and front end client, but many games are driven mainly by the graphical front end, and munge up the other two parts any old way.  This is a bad thing, and one which computer game designers need to fix. Continue reading “Games in Three Parts”

FarmVille is Broken

FarmVillebut not because of net problems – the game has no challenge and there is no way to fail. At first I thought the model used might have interesting potential, but I quickly relaised the implementation is flat. However, if I could get my hands on a copy of the code, I could tweak it to make an interesting simulation of a medieval manor or an Eighteenth century estate. Continue reading “FarmVille is Broken”

Teaching Continuity Plan

How do we maintain teaching continuity through the coming winter of swine flu?  We’re assured that our university has a plan for the pandemic but we have not been told anything about it, which is unusual – our current President is very good about keeping everyone informed. Meanwhile, I’ve been looking at my own teaching, and what we do in our dept, to work out what the problems are likely to be , and how we might meet them. I think the biggest problem is that many students, even  if they don’t actually have swine flu, will opt to sit it out at home at the slightest sniffle.  Not surprisingly, I’m looking at how I can use technology to deliver my teaching if me or my students are quarantined, or just faking it. Continue reading “Teaching Continuity Plan”