Last year I spent Winter Break reading two wildly disparate books about child-parent relationships gone bad. This year I played Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story on my iPad – and read #blog4reform (you should, too).
Game Dev Story puts you in charge of a game development company. You develop games and fulfill contracts in pursuit of industry awards, as well as the cash and research points necessary to recruit and develop workers and to license and develop more games and consoles. I enjoyed the game immensely, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t completely portray the complexities and operations of the game industry. Nevertheless, Game Dev Story does at least introduce its players to the kinds of decisions developers make regarding game mechanics, genres, and consoles. Plus, it’s full of puns and malapropisms, just like me.
How would Lesson Planning Story or School Management Story play by comparison? Would anyone even want to make either of those games for an audience in the United States of America? Would either game be released in the United States as anything but a satire?
Would you produce such a game knowing that you would have to trade off accurately portraying the complexities of public schooling in America in return for introducing players to broad tensions we face in running schools and designing learning opportunities in classrooms? How far could a little gamer education go for public education in our country?
What can a funny little app teach our casual gaming citizenry about education?
If you’d like to explore making a school or lesson development story – if that last question excites you – let me know. I’d contribute art and/or writing pro bono. We could at least launch a development blog for some vaporware.
it’s easy to visualize a classroom overlay atop Game Dev Story. It’s hard to imagine players in the United States of America caring, but perhaps that’s a shame a popular iPhone app could address.