All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

play-the-game

As much as I was hesitant to put that down, I was kind of nervous about module 3. First, because I’m not a gamer.

I’ve never played Subway surf or Candy crush or any of those trending games. I don’t have any games installed anywhere in my life. I think last time I played anything, it was UNO, Snakes and ladders, The Sims, FIFA, MW3 (old versions), and of course my all-time favorite, Scrabble. So whenever anyone brings about the topic of games, I’m faced with my lack of expertise and knowledge on the gaming world. And the reason I’ve never given much attention to games was because I was never “hooked” to a game and never thought you could develop so many skills and knowledge through them.

Last class when we were grouped according to the colors of the chocolate wrappers, and played Guessing the game, I realized that yes, games do actually play an important role in shaping our characters and enriching our skills. And it was actually fun to see people expressing themselves in different ways and others, stimulated to know what each person was trying to hint at.

And this, I realized, is one of the main aims of games. To make education fun and engaging for players. And honestly, I found too many inspirations online for educational game design and designers. It’s actually a world that I’m starting to discover now!

Knowing that Fatma Azmy, an educational game designer would be a guest in our second class, I decided to have a look at the type of games and furniture that she designs. I was impressed with the organisation of the project and how Fatma and her friend knew who their audience was and how they would respond to different categories of games. I also can’t stress more on how much I loved the fact that they incorporated parts of the Egyptian culture into their games to give the children a glimpse of their country’s roots. (I’m all about patriotism!) Read more about this splendid project here. I can’t wait to meet her in person!

Another very interesting example was GamesBond, a group of Egyptian designers, who have created many digital games for phones and computers, along with their famous MS-Kinect games. All of which develop different skills starting from basic ones like counting numbers to more advanced skills for older users.

And since I’m very much into word games, I decided to look for games newer than Scrabble and I found Pollywords, a game which allows users to play with multiple languages at the same time. (Time to step up my Arabic vocab!). And this, I think, is a perfect game for the people who are multilingual. Designed by Erly Stage Studios, a start up in UK, this game could comfort many parents who are worried about the type of games that their children could play. Although you need children who are old enough to understand the general rules of the game.

So, seeing these, I’m pretty sure there are even more impressive games out there that are created and yet to be created. And this gives me comfort. Because through these games, education could be reformed and better generations could be raised. A generation that knows more than learns, and this is one of the things that Egypt well and truly needs.

-0_JVSNq

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