Max Cady’s sixth grade multimedia class discovered different types of fun and applied them to their computer game design.
MAX CADY: The Fun Project is a cumulative project that’s happened at the end of the year, where students are tasked with using their coding skills and also their editing skills to create something that is fun for others to experience.
And in that project we talked about different ways that games can be fun– whether it’s fun because it’s challenging, or it’s fun because you’re playing with another person. And then students intentionally designed to create something fun, and that was also how we went through our feedback cycles on saying, was this fun? And how could it be more fun?
JESSICA: When we started this project, we already had learned a lot about Scratch. And we had moved on from Scratch to animation. So we had animation skills and our coding skills, and we kind of put those together to make an incredible game.
MAGNOLIA: My game was a grappling hook game where you had a little guy and then obstacles. And you had to click to aim, and then you would grapple to wherever you want. You would try to get to the finish line without running into monsters or obstacles. I know that I didn’t know that there were different types of fun, and that was what made a game fun in the first place, and it wasn’t just something that you liked.
MAX CADY: And I also think making a game allows for a lot of students to have choice in what they do and to build off their own personal experiences. But it also is really challenging.
MAGNOLIA: This was harder than any other game that I designed. I’ve done others, but those were tutorials or just in general easier.
JESSICA: I think it expanded our learning very well because we got to learn how to assess and how to figure out what type of fun you’re using, and what type of fun you’re trying to show when you’re working on your project.
MAGNOLIA: You can do whatever you want in designing your game. You can just run wild with whatever code you want, and you don’t have to stick to a perfect formula.
MAX CADY: I think it’s really powerful for students to see other people enjoy their work. And often in other classes, you might be really proud of your work, but you don’t see other people waiting in line to experience your work and then smiling while they’re experiencing it.
JESSICA: And it’s just something that makes you feel excited and have a lot of emotion, but the emotion is positive. There’s a lot of part where you’re nervous and the anxiety is building up, but once you finally get into your presenting mode, the zone or somethings, you just finally get into that mindset that you can do this.
MAX CADY: It was a nice project during the pandemic, because they could make something that other people could play with and experience– and experience joy from.