/ PATHWAYS / Identity / Aaron Finding His Voice In School
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Aaron found the traditional forms of education and learning a challenge. Exam-focused teaching and classroom interactions meant that he often found himself lagging behind his peers.He played a lot of video games in the evenings, which was a concern to his parents. However, some of these games created opportunities to build confidence in teamwork, communication and peer standing.A series of school sessions capitalised on this by taking him and his classmates through a series of video game challenges where he could not only keep up but take the lead and excel.
Outcome Found confidence to verbalise ideas in groups and surprised teachers and parents with his leadership ability.
This outcome arises from the following 5 milestones over the span of 1 year, from 9 - 10 years-old:
Age: 9-years-old / 01/01/2019 / 5 years ago
Platform: PlayStation 4
Aaron enjoyed playing Fortnite with friends each evening. This was a point of tension for his parents who worried he was spending too much time at the screen.A classroom session used the game as a topic about Game Journalism, Paid Content and the trustworthiness of influencers. This engaged Aaron and the class in some of the wider world of the game industry and laid some groundwork to introduce other games in later sessions.
Age: 10-years-old / 01/01/2020 / 4 years ago
Platform: Web Browser
The first game in the school session was Passage. Although Aaron was reluctant at first, because it looked very basic, he and the class soon got to grips with how much depth of play was available here.The game's simple visuals are intentional and tell a story about the different stages of life. Because it's only 5 minutes long, the group could play it multiple times and reflect on each different (yet similar) experience.
The next game in the school session was Spaceteam. It's a game where groups of players need to communicate clearly to be able to press the right buttons on their screens to keep the spaceship flying.From the very first moment Aaron's group started playing, he took a lead to suggest how they might tackle the challenge. While he rarely contributed in other class settings, with the game he was the first to tell his team how they could win.As they played, Aaron continued to take a lead in steering his group to better communication. This led to them scoring significantly higher in their session than the other teams in the class.
The next game in the school session was Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. One person sits at a screen with a modular bomb that needs disarming while the other players assist by offering instructions.Aaron identified that this was a task where accurate research was crucial. He took a lead in asking questions about what sort of bomb modules the defuser was facing and then meticulously looked them up in the manual to discover the correct action.In subsequent sessions, Aaron asked for the manual to be printed out so that it was quicker to flick through than the document on the screen. This also enabled him to annotate his manual and put bookmarks in key pages.
Activities: Aaron found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes:
Platform: Nintendo Switch
The next game in the session was Wilmot's Warehouse. In this game, you need to organise 100s of stock items ready to get them to customers. The challenge is that the items are not named, so players need to decide what they are and how to organise them.After playing with a few classmates, Aaron identified that this wasn't a task about speed of movement but categorisation. In his next go, he worked with a friend to decide how they would organise each item. He took notes to ensure that they both knew how the grouping was working.As the game continued and the number of items increased, this method broke down because of too many things that didn't fit in their groupings. Aaron took this setback well and came up with a method for adjusting the grouping on the fly, as different items arrived to be sorted.
Activities: Aaron found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Wilmot's Warehouse:
The culmination of the milestones in the pathway led to Aaron found confidence to verbalise ideas in groups and surprised teachers and parents with his leadership ability. We have described it as a linear journey, but of course, there is always a fair amount of back and forth between the games they played.
Along with the main outcome Aaron also changed in the following ways:
We focus on how games contribute to this outcome, but also include related activities that play a part of this journey: