record

Thesis Info

LABS ID
00016
Title
Making Games with LEGO: Exploring the Uses of an Active LEGO Baseplate for Building Computer Games as a Learning Activity
Author
Oliver Moran
2nd Author
3rd Author
Degree
MA in Interactive Media
Year
2002
Number of Pages
86
University
University of Limerick
Thesis Supervisor
Liam Bannon
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Enda O’Donoghue
Language(s) of Thesis
English
Department / Discipline
Cultural Studies/Computer Science
Languages Familiar to Author
English
URL where full thesis can be found
www.gamasutra.com/education/theses/20030131/makinggameswithlego.pdf
Keywords
Computer games, education, interface design
Abstract: 200-400 words
The Active LEGO Baseplate that this report explores is a tool to build computer games as a learning experience in the classroom. It uses tokens as representations of the world, pieces of narrative element that are assembled to construct a game in a similar manner to how children partake in pretend-play. This report examines the social and analytical aspects of its construction with a description of a prototype implementation of it. It discusses a change in relationship between game-players and the games they play over two decades with reference to the machines that they use and offers an examination of the meaning of computer games and game-play itself. This is provided as an essential background to a wider debate. Computer games, it is argued, when the player is empowered to meaningfully play them, may offer a fruitful resource of education and learning. It is put that meaningful play can only happen when the computer-game player can explore the ideas and understandings that are meaningful to him in games of their own. To frame this argument in an applied sense, a criticism of the current widespread use of computers in education is made and from this an argument is put forward as to how computers and the use of computers to make games could be more properly channelled in education. It is from of the findings of this debate that the heuristic principles for the design of the Active LEGO Baseplate are drawn.