Game time for pupils

October 2010

Pupil and computerMissionMaker, a software tool enabling teenagers to create their own computer games, is now used in over 200 schools and is part of the Institute of Education's Masters programmes.

Computer games are studied as part of Media or English courses in schools in the same way that literature, film and television are studied. Software existed for video editing, music composition or web design, but very little software existed for the design and production of computer games. Recognising the educational potential, researchers from the University of London in partnership with Immersive Education Ltd have developed software to let young people create their own 3D adventures.

The project brought together 100 students and a dozen teachers from two schools - a mixed comprehensive school in Cambridge and a girls' comprehensive school in Lambeth. They worked with researchers from the Centre for the Study of Children Youth and Media at the Institute of Education and developers from Immersive for three years, developing an understanding of each other's interests.

A software tool enabling teenagers to create their own computer games was developed by Professor David Buckingham, as part of the People at the Centre of Communication and Information Technologies (PACCIT) programme. Letting pupils use the MissionMaker application in the classroom has helped researchers identify key elements of game literacy and develop teaching materials for the principles of game design.

The research has had practical impacts on teaching in schools and have been disseminated to educators through TV, professional publications and teachers' conferences.

Impact

  • The MissionMaker games application was developed as part of the project. MissionMaker 2 is already on the market.
  • MissionMaker is already being used in many schools, colleges and city Learning Centres. It is currently in use in over 200 schools and is part of the Institute of Education's Masters programmes.
  • Skillset (the UK national training organisation for broadcast, film, video and multimedia) specifically refers to the project as one of its principal commitments to developing the skill base of the industry at school level.

Further information