Here is a very interesting reblog from the MacArthur Spotlight Blog. Designer and theorist Katie Salen is suggesting ways that complex role playing games can help kids think like game designers. Here's the url and here's the reblog: http://spotlight.macfound.org/
And do go to the spotlight blog for a larger conversation, including with Jim Gee and others:
Jul 12th: Katie Salen: Gamestar Mechanic Project FAQ Part 2:Gamestar Mechanic is a complex project, one that has required everyoneon the team to challenge their own thinking about the real role gamingcan play in getting kids to think like game designers. As the leaddesigner on the project my greatest challenges have been negotiatingthe different expectations and needs of the various stakeholders andmaintaining a creative vision that honors the limitations andpossibilities of the software development process. Significant, Ithink, was our decision to begin testing with kids using an extremelyrough interaction prototype, this prototype modeled the basic gamemaking activity we were after, but lacked most of the features weenvisioned for the final application. The prototype was buggy, prettyugly, but deeply engaging, which was the point after all. Betty, Alex,and Robert will be posting some on the workshops we have been runningwith kids over the past few months, in subsequent posts. In order toget to the point where we could build a prototype our team had to cometo some consensus about the values, knowledge, and practices the gamewould model. Have some questions about where are thinking ended up? Seepart 2 of the Gamestar Mechanic FAQ below.