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“Alphonse's Love Of Planning”

Alphonse found the classroom setting difficult to cope with. This meant that he was reluctant to attend school and struggled to find a social group.

Video games were a part of his life where he felt at home. Playing online with friends offered him a sense of belonging and achievement. He enjoyed making progress with other people online, not only getting better at games but planning and building with other players from all over the world.

In a series of school sessions he was able to engage this part of his life and use this enthusiasm in a more directed way. These lessons provided a space to play a range of games that were different to those he was used to. However, they offered that same ability to build and learn in a systematic way.
 

Outcome
Leading a group to reach consensus and implement a plan to solve a technical problem.


This outcome arises from the following 4 milestones over the span of 1 year, from 12 years-old:

DetailsPathway Details

Name: Alphonse
Stage of Life: 12 years-old
Genres: Brain Game, Creative, Puzzle, Role-Play, Sequencing, Simulation and Strategy
Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Web Browser
 

 

Co-ordinating Plans With Others

Age: 12-years-old / 27/07/2021 / 16 months ago

Play Styles: Cooperative Local

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Although he was reluctant at first because of Conduct Together's simple visuals, Alphonse warmed to the simple planning problems. He took the lead with other children in his group, to co-ordinate how they controlled the trains and the points to direct them efficiently and safely.

Alphonse grew in confidence and willingness to engage with the work of the class, through the familiar interactions of video game planning.

The Cycles of Planning

Age: 12-years-old / 28/07/2021 / 16 months ago

Play Styles: Turn-Based Play

Platform: Web Browser

Alphonse was intrigued by the layered planning needed to do well at Gridland's matching game play. He tried different approaches to both the day and the night cycles of the puzzle. This led to discussions with other children in the class about what had worked best for building defences in the day and how to efficiently battle each night.

Alphonse enjoyed gathering data about the game from other players, that then informed his own plans.

Building in Flexibility

Age: 12-years-old / 28/07/2021 / 16 months ago

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Alphonse had watched Mini Motorways played by a streamer online, so was excited to be able to play the game themselves in the lesson. After a few trial and error attempts, he came up with the idea of using the whiteboard to plan the routes for his city with others in his team.


Skill
Team Planning
TRANSFORMATION

Alphonse found that planning with his team was helped by drawing out suggestions together before implementing them.

Activities: Alphonse found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Mini Motorways:

Alphonse used the game projected on a whiteboard to be able to sketch out plans

Planning For Other's Abilities

Age: 12-years-old / 01/09/2021 / 15 months ago

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Alphonse found the different type of play in Loop Hero a bit confusing. But once he understood that this was a game about planning challenges rather than solutions things clicked into place. He experimented with different approaches in designing the enemies that would have to be defeated by the game character.

Having become comfortable with planning solutions in his group, Alphonse learned how to plan a challenge that was achievable but not too easy.
Alphonse embraced the experience of taking a lead in a group to create something that drew on all their skills.

Pathway Outcome

The culmination of the milestones in the pathway lead to Alphonse leading a group to reach consensus and implement a plan to solve a technical problem. We have described it as a linear journey, but of course, there is always a fair amount of back and forth between the games they played.

Along with the main outcome Alphonse also changed in the following ways:

  • Disposition: Alphonse grew in confidence and willingness to engage with the work of the class, through the familiar interactions of video game planning.
  • Experience: Alphonse embraced the experience of taking a lead in a group to create something that drew on all their skills.
  • Relationships: Alphonse enjoyed gathering data about the game from other players, that then informed his own plans.
  • Skill: Having become comfortable with planning solutions in his group, Alphonse learned how to plan a challenge that was achievable but not too easy.
  • Skill: Alphonse found that planning with his team was helped by drawing out suggestions together before implementing them.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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