Game Design Portfolio for Scott Nicholson > Events for Informal Learning > Junkyard Track Meet at the MIT Museum
In April 2012, I ran a game-creation event for families at the MIT Museum called the Junkyard Track Meet as part of the GAMBIT Game Lab Do It Yourself Game Design event. Families were encouraged to attend as a family unit, as the activity was designed to be done by intergenerational teams.
This mini-Game Jam was based off of Bernie Dekoven's Junkyard Olympics concept. Teams were made up of 4-8 people; larger families were one team and smaller families were asked to join with other smaller families. Each team got to dive into the overflowing Ikea bag of "junk" to find treasures with which to make a game.
The goal was to create simple games that were in line with a track meet event - something simple and with a scoring system that measured something that a player would do. The rules and scoring system needed to be written down, and groups were encourage to playtest each others' games.
After creating and testing the games, participants then were able to compete in all of the "events" in the track meet. Each table kept a leaderboard of the top performers, and after everyone had a chance to play, the winners at each table were announced.
The result of this workshop is that attendees explored the stages in game design through an inquiry-based model of building a prototype, testing, and improving. Different generations brought different skillsets - kids were better at creating the play elements while adults were better at writing the rules and goals.