One of the reasons I hoped to be able to attend this institute was the idea of using video games to teach literature. I find it hard to tear my students, heck, even my own children, away from their video games, so I relished the idea of a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” approach. Let them learn while they play games? Sign me up! The fact that I am NOT a gamer did not hold me back.
Learning that I had been placed in the group that would demonstrate a lesson using video games based on Hamlet added to the feeling of serendipity. This is exactly what I was supposed to do! Then I got to looking at the games themselves. I found more questions than answers. Will this work with my school’s computers? How can I incorporate this into a lesson? Am I comfortable with assigning a homework assignment that states, “Make sure to play your game tonight?”
Since the lesson my group prepared is also closely tied to the session that Jenny presented, I got a bit more feedback from her than what was covered in the session. We discussed using YouTube video clips of people playing the game, having students work in groups on teachers’ computers, teachers playing while students observe and suggest moves, and many other options. I realized that video games based on literary works were something I could make work after all. I look forward to trying some in my classes this coming school year.