August 2, 2010
Jane McGonigal has created a game called SuperBetter, which turns the rehabilitation process into a game.
SuperBetter covers an area on the play graph straddling pretend play and games with rules, with a similar footprint to Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft except a little to the left (the pretend setting is self-directed), and larger footprint vertically (the gameplay is highly emergent from real-world experiences, pushing it lower, and it’s goals exist in the real-world and are quite serious, pushing its upper border upwards).
Note to self, perhaps I need a better vocabulary for talking about this.
Anyway, here is Jane talking about the origins of SuperBetter briefly:
and a longer video of her TED talk on the origin and purpose of her “serious” games.
March 24, 2010
Lazzaro’s 4 Types of Fun corresponds well to the constructivists’ theories of development (Piaget; Bruner) as well as the literature on play development (Singer & Singer; Garvey; Fein). The Y-axis here owes a lot to cognitive psychologist Robbie Case.
August 24, 2009
At this year’s Gen Con, an annual convention for tabletop game players, there was a fire alarm which resulted in the evacuation of the convention center.
Gamer Nate Price tells a story about the evacuation.
Naturally, the herd of gamers occupying the room simply stared in stunned silence for solid thirty seconds before reluctantly heading to the exits. I think Brian David-Marshall put it best when he told me his story. He had just cracked open the second pack in a draft when the alarm started going off. He glanced around the table, saw that no one was really making a strong move to leave, and then offered a solution. “Do we all agree that we would rather burn to death than have to put this on hold and come back to it?” When everyone else nodded, he just laughed and went back to making his pick.
Okay, these guys are pretty serious about their game. They are competing for a major prize, though. But what about everyone else?
I [Nate Price], on the other hand, had the safety of my friends to think about, plus I still wasn’t really too sure what was going on. So, like a pig to the slaughterhouse, I joined the great gamer exodus. Upon getting outside and watching fire engine after fire engine race down the street to the Convention Center, I realized there was a growing congregation of people at one of the entrances. […]
After milling about for a bit, I heard some veiled whispering coming from behind me. All of a sudden, there was a gasp of air, like an airlock shooting open, followed by the bellowing voices of well over a hundred gamers.
“RED ROVER, RED ROVER, SEND TOP-HAT GUY OVER,” came the cry!
The people on the other side of the street looked confused. That is, until a guy with savage muttonchops and a dashing top hat went sprinting across a four-lane street to join our side. A massive cheer erupted. After about thirty seconds without another response, the chorus yelled, “YOUR TURN, YOUR TURN!”
Unwilling to let the game die, the crowd turned once more and screamed, “RED ROVER, RED ROVER, SEND STEAMPUNK GIRL OVER!”
Within ten seconds, we had a cute little steampunk girl dodging traffic on the way to our side. Apparently shaken by the loss of their steampunk girl, the north side of the street erupted with rage, set on taking one of our most precious resources: Tie-Died Shirt Guy. For three or four more rotations, the epic game of Red Rover across Maryland Street raged on. Eventually, we were given the all clear to reenter. With one more guttural bellow, our newly bolstered forces called out for the end: “RED ROVER, RED ROVER, SEND EVERYONE OVER!” And with that sign of truce, the Great Red Rover Standoff came to a peaceful resolution. And best of all, no one got hurt.
Play is a skill and a mindset that must be cultivated in order to be enjoyed. In Indianapolis a group of adults, all of whom play games as their primary leisure activity, spontaneously played together.
June 28, 2009
Parallel play is when two children are playing the same play frame, but not collaborating with one another or influencing one another’s play directly.
Rather than through negotiation, the two children’s play frames are synchronized and coordinated by imitation. You often see one child repeating the same action that another child does. (Classic Vygotsky: the play frame is in their ZPD and they are learning how to act in it from one another).
This poses problems for kids with disabilities: #1: their motor and linguistic capacity to imitate.
Can our kid actually perform the physical actions of driving the car up the ramp or putting a dress on Barbie? This is a problem (but is a little out of my universe as an SLP. I’ll let the OT and Rec Therapists work on this one).
Can a child using AAC imitate something that another child says that sounds interesting?
April 9, 2009
I just saw two kids running around in circles chasing each other around a bike rack. Looked like a brother and sister, age 4 and 6 perhaps.
Repetitive, and pointless behavior.
They do it—it looks like silly play.
Our kids do it—it is perseveration that needs to be extinguished through behavior modification.
Think about that…