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Title: 'I want to be a Game Maker' : experiences of digital game making with eleven year olds
Author: Busuttil, Leonard
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 9560
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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The purpose of this study was to empower a mixed group of eleven year old students with the skills to program digital games and then research the stages of development they go through whilst designing and authoring a game. This study also strived to identify the benefits children gained from a gaming literacy perspective. This research used a qualitative case study approach. The analysis of this study was based on multiple data sources: statistics collected from the web portal used during the workshop; informal conversations with the children and teachers helping out with the workshop; participant observation and analysis of the games created. Through the participation in this workshop the children were introduced to the Scratch programming language. The structure of the gaming workshop was influenced by pedagogic approaches to teach creatively for creativity and to introduce programming through a full system approach (Selby 2011). The stages that children go through whilst creating a digital game are similar to a number of phases discussed in previous research (Robertson 2011, Resnick, Maloney et al. 2009). However the stages of development outlined in this research highlight the importance of the social aspect in game development. Group testing not only has an effect on the game being tested but also acts as a source of cross fertilisation of ideas between the students testing the game and the students developing the game. The game making experience provided the students with a possibility to enact their systematic thinking when designing their games as a system made up of interrelated subsystems. Prior gaming experience contributed to the way the games were designed and allowed the students to engage with game making using a playful attitude. The students were competitive yet cooperative whilst making their games. All the games were complete and demonstrated that the children were savvy about multimodality. They created games that were well balanced from the difficulty point of view and that provided the game players with instructions on how to play as well as implemented appropriate feedback mechanisms.
Supervisor: Davies, Julia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available