“Maybe you might be interested in offering a workshop for our Project Week at the end of the year,“ the principal of my boys’ school told me. We were meeting for the first time to talk about various things, and the subject of games, game design, and my previous experience with youth and children came up.
Several months later, I was given a classroom full of 15 students from grades 4-6 (9-12-year-olds) with 4 days to teach them how to design games and give them the materials to do so. I was also given a classroom with a very cool Smart Board, and was excited to finally be able to use one.
Each day, we had the full 4 hours from 8 a.m. until noon to learn, play, design and build. This was both exciting and a little scary. I had never had so much time with such young students to teach them about game design and help them design their own games. Would it be too much time to fill? Would they eventually lose interest? Could they stay focused enough to get some games finished in time for the presentation afternoon on Friday?