Teaching Memo: Gamification, Making Items

A quick post here about making items for your game. When a game creator builds a game, it’s often by picking a theme and then by choosing some mechanics to fill out the game and make it playable. (See my last post for more detail on building a classroom game.)

I’ve been making items for my classroom game (Earth 2) using MtGCardsmith, a cool website to help players make their own customized Magic: The Gathering-styled cards.

To get images for my cards, I’ve been going to Wikipedia pages that are about a concept that matches my theme. Then I attribute the author of the image and/or cite that it’s a public domain or CC image at the bottom of the card (the website makes it super clear how to do this, though there’s a character limit…). That way, I don’t feel as though I’m doing anything wrong in using the images that I use in my game and sharing them with you all here on my site. I’ve also been toying around with the search feature on the Creative Commons dot org website. I encourage you game designers / teachers out there to build your own items, and this is one of your best options.

There are some walkthroughs for using mtgcardsmith – even some walkthroughs created by teachers for our specific purposes (see Adam Powley’s site here, for instance).

Check out a few of my items! (I’m up to fifteen now. Some gamifiers have hundreds! Don’t let that intimidate you, though. Start with one.)

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And – as usual – I’m going to direct my friends to visit Michael Matera’s website and to read his book Explore Like a Pirate – basically, a guide to gamifying the classroom. He’s who I consider to be a gamification guru, and I get plenty of ideas from him. I’ve also been glad to have the opportunity to attend sessions of his at NCSS 2018 and AMLE 2019 (both of which were events at which I also presented) and I’ve had him visit with me at one of my presentation sessions as well. Check out his website and youtube channel.

About Steve Capone

Writer hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. Interdisciplinary teacher (read: generalist guiding inquiry) at an independent school. Adjunct instructor at a medium sized state school. Lover of learning. Favorite destination: Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany. @CaponeTeaches on Twitter M.S. Philosophy (Univ. of Utah 2013) M.A. Humanities (Univ. of Chicago 2007) B.A. Philosophy & English (Washington & Jefferson College 2006
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