Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Where Does it Fit?

The three topics I have remaining this year for my Year 8 Maths class are;

Linear and Non-Linear Graphs.
Geometric Reasoning.
Money and Financial Maths.

So where is this project going to fit? I think it would fit best in the Money and Financial Maths unit, and with my experience in the Pre-CAL Numeracy world I already have some pretty good ideas of how to design a project in Minecraft around things like this. I have, however, been doing a bit of reading on the gamer psyche, mostly from about the 4 types of gamers and their needs.

So how am I going to get an activity that suits the killers, as well as the explorers, achievers and socialisers? I could almost guarantee that I have at least one of each type in my class, just reading about the sorts of things they value I can clearly see where some students will be. I will still get them to sit the test and give me their results, but I am sure I will need to have all four catered for.

So I am beginning to think of activities.

Killers: Running a store, charging what you want for items that are rare. I think this would fit with the implying ones will unto others and making them 'suffer' that gives these students the desire to continue to play. I am also considering adding a PvP arena where students who want to fight to be the best in a tournament type thing can do so.

Explorers: Have the opportunity to purchase a plot of land to explore, maybe a time limit would work best. You can purchase a set amount of time 'outside' the designated area in which you can explore as much as you like.

Socialisers: Have a central 'town' area where interactions can occur. Maybe these students would like to build the central town together, including a hotel of sorts and perhaps other buildings for the community.

Achievers: I am thinking I need a list of achievements and their rewards from the start. Similar to what I tried with the Pre-CAL Numeracy project to fulfil the needs of the achievers.

So, the more I think about this, and where I want to head, and think back to the buy-in I got with that Pre-CAL Numeracy project, that it actually (accidentally) fulfilled a lot of the needs of gamers of varying types. So using that as a basis I think I can more formally address these needs and also develop a much clearer path forward.

I still need to think of the outcomes in the designated unit, and how I can ensure that all students can buy-in at their level and meet these outcomes in the time we have. My real disadvantage is that this unit will be run for 4 weeks or so at most, which means less than 20hours total in the game. So I am seriously considering opening up to the outside world just for my students, to allow them to access from outside school hours and see if they do in fact buy in and see how the project progresses.

I will not be setting up a pay system like I did for Pre-CAL, but I do need to figure out a way for students to gather resources and barter/trade with each other or with NPCs for either cash or other resources. I am not quite sure how to get the 'secret' information to assist in moving forward in the game into my plan just yet, that is what I am thrashing about at the moment.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below if you have any suggestions or ideas I have not yet considered.

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