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In partnership with Northern Ireland Screen, Into Film NI are the first of our regional teams in the UK to launch a dedicated games education programme. Developed in consultation with BAFTA and the Family Gaming Database, this unique programme of resources and workshops is designed to support teaching and learning through games. We aim to inspire the game designers of the future, for our booming NI and UK games industry.
So, we wanted to delve into the many reasons why educators across the UK should be incorporating games into their teaching and help get you started with our varied collection of resources. Featuring contributions from the Editor of the Family Gaming Database, Andy Robertson and educator, Dan Copper, our article comes in just in time for the 2023 BAFTA Games Awards, which is taking place tonight (30 March). Find out who's nominated on the BAFTA website.
Created by Into Film Northern Ireland
Supporting students to find joy and value in a narrative - no matter the medium - is to unlock a door behind which innumerable opportunities for enrichment lie.
Enter games, a chance for educators to use the learning tools that many children have chosen for themselves. From board games to video games, greater cross-curricular literacy can be achieved through this medium that learners are familiar and confident with, and genuinely enjoy. Whether teaching through existing game narratives or tasking students to create narratives for curricular game projects, joining up this home learning to what is happening at school is a powerful move.
The point is not to study video games in place of traditional texts, but rather to show pupils that the true wonder of storytelling is its universality, whether through a book, a film or a game.
Along with the general benefits of play, games engage players with detailed worlds, imaginative storytelling and layered systems to be mastered. From a teaching perspective, they represent a unique and illuminating way to teach narrative structure, and the same elements that can be found in great works of literature can be found in any number of gaming narratives. Character development and world building through setting, sounds and colour can be more easily understood through games and applied to the learners' own writing.
Video games offer a different form of engagement that often works for children who are otherwise disengaged. Capitalising on the cultural equity that video games have in the media landscape of children offers direct and indirect learning outcomes surprisingly well aligned to the school curriculum. They also present a social challenge of communication, teamwork and collaboration, as well as an opportunity to work through one's own identity by playing as someone else.
For educators who are new to using games for teaching and learning, you'll find many unexpected benefits. In our curated list of games for use in your classroom you'll find that all the games are:
Our curated games list at the bottom of this article will propel you into the world of gaming with suggestions categorised for key literacy areas as well as ones chosen specifically to help get educators started with using games for teaching.
For those ready to start straight away, the Big Games Review resource gives educators an understanding of the breadth and types of games their learners engage with. Educators will enjoy a learning task around a subject of their choice, whilst also gaining an insight into the chosen narratives of their students (with literacy outcomes to boot).
Our popular Story Builder resource has a new Key Stage 3 Games edition coming in September. Whatever the subject or topic, educators can apply students' knowledge of game narratives and structure to curricular topics with Story Builder: Games. Develop cross-curricular literacy skills through a tried and tested framework for students to create a narrative for a curricular focused game. Learners develop characters, settings and more, based on their research and understanding of their focus area.
Created by Into Film Northern Ireland
We're encouraging children and young people across Northern Ireland to tell us about the games they are playing to be in with a chance of winning a PlayStation 5.View page
Our film resources can be applied to a range of exam specifications and subjects, from English Literature and Citizenship to History and Computer Science & IT.
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