Playing the Game

Ready to Play?

Welcome to the 2012 Gaming the Game Challenge!
For the next 10 days (M-F BEGINS May 21 Midnight –  ENDS June 1 NOON), you’ll explore some of James Gee’s learning principles of games as you participate IN a game. This game was inspired by a crash course I took last summer on digital storytelling wherein participants completed Daily Shoot exercises to loosen up the creative juices and explore the topic of the course more freely.

For this game, we are using James Gee’s learning principles of games from the text, What Video Games have to Teach us about Learning and Literacy (2007) as the framework for the exploration.

You’ll choose concepts, topics, or ideas from a course that you want to explore more fully within the framework of game-like learning principles. Each day, in what are meant to be lightening rounds (that is – you’ll work deeply but quickly – they aren’t meant to take hours and hours – nor are they meant to be perfect – you are exploring…) you’ll apply one of Gee’s learning principles to your concept and in the process, earn points! As a final re-design step, you’ll gamify it!!

At the end of the two weeks of exploration, you should have been able to think more deeply about your concept and a different way to approach how you present it to your classes.


To get a deeper understanding of some of the underlying learning principles of a game environment. The goal is NOT to create a full-blown game. But to give you insight into the important elements once you do sit down to design a game.

What to do

1) Choose 1-3 course concepts or objectives (or a game idea if you’ve gotten that far already) that you want to explore using game-like elements. You’ll use them as your “guinea pigs” upon which to apply the learning principles. Want an example? See the posts below on Getting your Guinea Pigs Ready.
2) Each day visit the Daily Challenges tab on this web site for the new assignment. They’ll open up automatically after midnight each day (M-F only)
3) Apply the principle to your concept or objective. Be concrete.
4) Gamify it!
5) Post your ideas as a comment to each day’s assignment post
6) Respond to your colleagues as you can


1) Relax – there are no wrong answers
2) Enter into the spirit of the game – the goal is to explore, test, invent, create, brainstorm – don’t limit yourself with “shoulds” or perfectionism.
3) One idea can lead to another
4) Don’t discard ideas
5) You can post more than one idea
6) Read each other’s ideas and see if they spark ideas for your own concept/objective.
7) Have fun!
8) Try to complete one a day (2 weeks straight Mon-Fri – weekends free)

Winning the Game

Well, you’re all winners for even thinking about this over the summer… but in the spirit of this game (and testing out Learning Principle #11 – Achievement Principle), here’s what we’ll do…

How to win!
1) Leveling up via points (notice non- competitive element here + rewards for working thru tasks and for helping/contributing behaviors)
* Complete the day’s task within 24 hours (9:00 am EST start/stop) = earn 2 points
* Complete within 48 hours = earn 1 point
* Complete after 48 hours, = 0 points (do you hear my raspberry?)
* First to post an idea gets 1 point bonus!
* Springboard off someone else’s idea within next 24 hours  – you  must use it and apply it to your own concept/objective = earn 1 point
* Add a resource – links, articles, ideas from other sources – related to that assignment principle = earn 3 points per challenge
* Help someone expand their own idea = earn 3 points per challenge

Each 10 points moves you up a level and you earn a secret prize
0-10 points = Guinea Pig
11-20 points = Potbellied Pig
21-30 points = Wild Boar
31-40 points = American Mulefoot Pig
41-50 points = Guinea Hog
51-60 points = Porky Pig – You  made it to the big time!
>60 = Boss Hog – Well, need anything else be said?

2) Compete!
At the end of the 2 weeks (Friday June 1 NOON), the person with the highest total points WINS the grand prize.

Check the Daily LEADERBOARD

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