16 Apr Videogames and Education in Vitoria-Gasteiz
Last January, we had the opportunity of participating in the Videogames and Education Workshops in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in Centro Cultural Montehermoso. We were invited to give a conference about Animal Hero, and a workshop for children about how to create a story for a videogame.
On Friday, we gave a conference about Animal Hero and how it helps boys and girls with Down’s Syndrome to enhance and improve their cognitive abilities while they have fun. We had the honour to share the stage with Carlos González, doctor in psychology, leisure and human development, who explained learning strategies that have an impact on people while they play videogames.
On Saturday we imparted a workshop for boys and girls from 8 to 11 years old about “storytelling“. We explained the basics of the creation of videogames, the story, the characters, the adventures… And the most important thing when creating a videogame: The team!
We divided them in three teams, and showed them techniques to learn how to work in a team, like the “Marshmellow Challenge“, where they had to build the highest tower possible with 20 spaghetti sticks, a bit of play-doh, and the most important part, a marshmellow at the tip. The kids went into their roles very quickly, there were some who had more initiative and started building the tower rightaway, others that stopped to think the best strategy, others that looked at the other groups to catch ideas… It was very interesting to see the different synergies that emerged between them, and how they were capable of changing their strategy when they failed.
Through the marshmellow challenge we explained how everything that had happened between them also happened when you create a videogame with a team, and how they had to respect each other, listen to everyone’s ideas, and work togeather to get the best result.
In the next step, we gave them a board with different “stations”, and dice with categories as localization, enemies, obstacles, superpowers…
First they had to create their main character. There were some groups that got it very quickly while others had issues agreeing on an idea. It was a great opportunity to teach them conflict resolution between team members.
Whenever they had to move along in the story, they had to roll the dice of the category where they were at the moment, and they got an option or another. As they were advancing, and with what they had been getting in each “station” they had to invent their story of a videogame.
In the end they had to expose their story in front of the class, explaining the paths they had been following and how their story unfolded.
It was a really enriching experience for Animal Hero, and we are very thankful to the Vitoria-Gasteiz’s town hall for having given us this big opportunity!