Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Weight Wars

Pacing: What is the pace of your lesson or game? Who will go first?

Stages can be played and completed at any time as there is no time limit, and players are aware of how long it has taken them to play through the game. Players can also play with each other and witness the actions and outcomes of others. The pacing of quests and missions will vary depending on the requirements and constraints of each event.

Instructions: How will your learners learn how to play your game?

At the beginning of each mission/quest, the players are primed with exercise movements required to complete it. There is also a tutorial mode where a brief overview of the game and its requirements is given.

Controls: What will the learners manipulate in your game?

Players will manipulate their environment, just like Minecraft. But each game action (like digging, walking, lifting) corresponds to workout movements that must be unlocked as you complete quests and gain experience. Tracking action works just like Dance Central 2, and the overall atmosphere and gameplay is reminiscent of games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.

Knowledge: What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave?

Learners should be able to configure their Xbox Kinect and realize that this game will be a very kinesthetic one–all of the actions are visually tracked just like in the Xbox game, Dance Central 2. The game will teach learners how to use resistance bands as well as integrate the workouts into the gameplay for an enjoyable and productive experience. Learners will be able to demonstrate these same exercise movements outside of gameplay, perhaps during their own time when they want to be physical and active, away from the Xbox.

Achievements: What are the short term and long term victories for the learner? How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson?

Short term victories include leveling up, defeating enemies and bosses, and collecting new exercise movements and items. Long term victories include building a vast empire, transforming the landscape, and slimming down their character avatars. Operant conditioning will play an important role because certain actions executed on the landscape will alter the course of the story; characters who continue to engage in physical activity will remain at a healthy weight; and playing with others will develop long-lasting friendships.

Story: What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world?

Your spaceship has crash-landed  on a so-called deserted planet, and you find that you have gained an incredible amount of weight during hypersleep, so you venture off to start a new life whilst looking and feeling better in the process. Little do you know that there are other lifeforms on the planet competing for the same resources to sustain their own existence…

Endgame: Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end? What is the final outcome? Is there an ending to your game?

Some big missions and quests will have a boss character that the player has to defeat. There really is no final outcome or ending as in the case of notable MMORPGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2, or even in Dance Central 2.

Assessment: What are the built in assessments to your game?

There is a screen in the game that displays all achievements and metrics, and the player can self-assess their own progress. For example, character avatars have muscle imbalances throughout gameplay, so the player can determine what muscle areas need to be worked on, and what exercises through questing are required to improve those areas. As character stats continue to improve and increase, and new items are gathered to make gameplay easier, players are able to venture into new areas requiring more strength to complete missions and fend of powerful enemies at higher levels. Furthermore, the way a player moves while doing an exercise movement is constantly assessed using the motion tracking capabilities of the Xbox Kinect, and more experience points are awarded based on correct execution of those workouts.

Timing: What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower?

Players can play this game for as long as they want. There are seasons and days in the game, so particular events and people requiring interaction are only available during certain periods of time. The only things that are timed are certain missions and quests, which require players to complete within a given timeframe.

Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address? What operant conditions are in place?

It’s not that gamers are lazy–they feel that to a certain level they are being productive by completing video game missions and quests. This game is effective because not a single minute of physical production time is wasted, as it integrates kinesthetic exercises with a popular form of gaming–MMORPGS. Weight Wars takes many of the fun elements from World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, Dance Central 2, and Minecraft and includes resistance bands into the mix. Multiple Intelligence theory can be seen at work in this game because solving problems will now require kinesthetic/intrapersonal intelligences instead of just relying on mathematical/verbal/interpersonal intelligences alone. Operant conditions will carry on in the real-world, and perhaps it may cement a more healthy conscience within a player to continue to be active and workout during a their own time.

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