The Learning Lab is a course. And so like any other course, there’s a set time during the week where everyone comes together to learn. Usually there’s a certain focus during these ‘lessons’. This week’s focus was rules and play. Something one could say we, as aspiring game designers, are familiar with. And so for this week’s four hours of learning we were asked to tell the students what rules mean to us, how we can use them and tweak them to achieve whatever needs achieving. We explained, using our good old friend, Chess, how the ruleset of a game affects how you experience a game, what it does to your brain, and how you can steer things in a certain direction.
So that was the learning thing, where teachers Sylvan and Wieger used whiteboards and terms and asked if there were any questions regarding the subject. Then came the fun part! We figured that in order to let the students understand how this whole idea of using rules in creating things, we’d play some Nomic! The ruleset of Nomic consists solely of, well, making rules. The lack of any pre-defined structure did result in a certain form of confusement among the students. But, after switching from their everyday information sponge university mindset to an open creative mindset, it wasn’t long before they were all really into it. Creating cards, changing gameplay, screwing each other over and most importantly (after all, this was a game we were playing here): having happy funtimes!
Exciting, inspiring, simple fun. There’s a bigger picture we’re working on with the students, so we’re back off to work, but will keep you posted!
Sylvan and Wieger out.