Friday, March 3, 2017

It's Not About the Games




I have had on numerous occasions over the past three years people make suggestions or recommendations for me -- suggestions and recommendations that assume I want to teach or pursue game design. I want to be clear -- I have no such desires. It's true that I have a deep interest in the design of tabletop games and yes I have dabbled in designing such things. But, my interest in board game design lies in what other types of designers can learn from the concepts, methods and outcomes inherent in the design of tabletop games.

I believe very strongly that the concepts, methods and outcomes found in board game design can be powerful, powerful tools for designing almost anything. Furthermore, when used in the classroom, board game design can be an extremely effective, efficient and enjoyable means of teaching students (of all design disciplines) principles that will make them better designers. In the five different courses that I have developed and/or taught over the last three years I have used board game design in only one of them. Board game design principles could be extremely useful at any level of education. But, I strategically use game design in the 200 level course that I teach. I believe that the game design principles that I can leverage in the classroom are foundational. So, while those principles can be powerful at all levels it is best to introduce them at an early level in a design students education.



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