Author Topic: Console Game "creative writing" activities  (Read 476 times)

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Offline cbonano

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Console Game "creative writing" activities
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:31:53 PM »
As part of a conference presentation I did with Becca Sullivan recently related to console games and how they can be incorporated into the ESL classroom, we came up with a few writing related activity ideas that I felt like sharing.


Console games offer a lot more than computer games, I believe, in terms of authentic language input and interactive opportunities that are perfect for ESL students. But, how do we get those games into the classroom? I know that most teachers are not gamers and probably won't know where to start but here are some tips:

1) CHECK community resources - what does your local community center, YMCA, university, library, etc. offer in terms of games? You'd be surprised what is free or low-cost out there!
2) Survey students who may own console games and pair them up for related projects/group tasks.
3) If you are a gamer, bring your own console to your classroom (if you have the TV to hook it up) or record your own screen time at home to share with students.
4) Use YouTube walkthroughs and analysis videos.


While I am outlining some activity ideas, it is up to the teacher to make sure that students understand, for example, how to write certain types of papers or for a specific audience, purpose, etc. I will color in red some key words below related to what students ought to know for these activities.


Monologue/Dialogue Creation:

Have students write a Monologue or Dialogue for a traditionally non-verbal character based on a scene or interaction they observe in the game. While this is writing based, you can have students read it aloud to classmates for sharing or even role-play it for more fun.

Game Trailer Essay:

Have students choose either 1 game trailer, 2 different trailers for the same game, or two different trailers for different games and either:
1) Write an argumentative essay on how a particular game trailer could have been made more appealing to a specific audience.

2) For the same topic as #1 above, if using two game trailers, students should write an analytical essay that compares/contrasts the techniques used in the trailers to appeal to buyers. Was one more effective than the other and why/how?

Critique the Critique:

Locating either a written review or video critique online of a game of choice, students should evaluate the critique. What does the critique do well and in what ways is it lacking? In doing so, they must consider the language and rationale used and determine any bias or controversial information.


Speaking/Pronunciation/Body Language Activity:

Student must play a specific game scene on mute and with the:

GAME CAPTIONED record themselves voicing dialogue and reading essential game text (artifacts/files in the game that progress the story). Teachers or students can analyze these recordings to determine pronunciation areas to work on.

GAME NONCAPTIONED analyze a specific character's body language and facial cues to take notes about what these actions show about what the character is trying to emote. Once they take some notes, students should reset the scene and watch/listen the interaction play out. Now having the full context of the scene, students should write a page or two about how the body language/facial cues they analyzed played a role in exchanging meaning in the conversation.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 04:56:06 PM by cbonano »

Offline sheccabaw

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Re: Console Game "creative writing" activities
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 10:02:19 PM »
Yay, presenting this was so fun! I personally was interested in non-verbal characters in video games-- characters that may have a voice but don't necessarily speak a real language (e.g. Mario, Sims, Animal Crossing Villagers...). Here are a couple more ideas that we came up with:

1. Practicing Non-Verbal Communication:

Students write a "voiceless" version themselves into a game of their choice. Choosing a scene to integrate themselves in, students must act out their role solely through body language.

2. Intonation Practice

Play students a clip of "voiceless" (non-verbal) characters speaking to each other without captions. Students should use the characters' intonation to guess how the character is feeling and what they are trying to express. To make this activity more writing-focused, have students create their own captions that would fit the characters' intonation.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 10:02:34 PM by sheccabaw »