Game design and learning

Two boys with computer game

Game Design is a creative medium.  It challenges pupils to analyse problems, structure solutions and continuously evaluate their progress.  There are many game design tools available for use in schools and at home.  

It can be used in a number of different ways in our curriculum - not just within Computing classrooms.  For example it can: 

  • support team working and co-operative learning activities
  • be used a hub to bring together knowledge from a variety of subject areas
  • provide a contemporary environment for story telling, narrative and character analysis
  • develop logical thought and problem solving skills
  • support mathematical concepts
  • provide an engaging context for enterprise activities
  • be used to create games, animations, interactive art and simulations using development tools
  • develop users IT skills by integrating many forms of media applications such as web technologies, graphics and audio.

Getting started with game design is no longer something that requires specialist programming knowledge. Indeed, platforms like 2DIY, Scratch and Kodu allow users to focus on creativity and game play without the worry of complex coding. Using these tools to introduce pupils to game design at an early stage prepares them for more complex development platforms at later stages where coding becomes more prominent. 

Above all, a game design activity will provide an opportunity to make connections across learning, with the game itself being the ‘glue’ that brings together elements from all over the curriculum.

Within the Technologies outcomes and experiences, it is clearly stated in TCH 0-09a to TCH 4-09 that pupils should be able to make a computer game.  However, with appropriate tools, we can use game design to engage with many more experiences and outcomes and provide a rich learning experience for all our learners right from an early stage.  

At Education Scotland we are committed to developing resources to support game design from 3-18, sharing good practice and developing a thriving, exciting online game design community.

A graphic of the promotional banner for the My Experiences and Outcomes website