Learning by Design – Tools and Games for Ages 11-13


Yes, there is some overlap here with the previous grouping and the following one.  That said, there are a few key differences in game play that makes this age group appropriate to discuss on its own.  Part of this comes not from the biological changes this audience undergoes or faces, but rather in the core competencies of game play development that occur in this transitory period.  What is different here is the level of sophistication in the style of play and the enjoyment of established concepts matures to incorporate deeper levels of meaning.  What is often embraced at this time are more immersive experiences and a greater awareness of resource management.

What kids can create at this age range starts to include games with storylines of increasing complexity, the use of multiple resources, and more integrated systems.  Rather than being a new skill or tool, this coincides with the greater understanding that comes along with information the child learns.  This is also a continuation of the growing modularity of game systems and the recognition of analogous structures.  Thus, while much of the material is derivative and linear, the games at this age begin to incorporate nonlinear elements as well as a greater level of choice in game play (which coincides with greater awareness of other viewpoints).  The two game tools that fit this intermediary phase are:


  • Introductory resource management systems
  • Development of storylines, predominantly linear, interspersed between game play

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