maker playground

games for good | 3rd grade+

In addition to being fun, games can be powerful tools for learning. Meet women who channel their love of games into their STEM careers. Then design and create your own game!

explore

Whether you prefer board games, sports games, or video games, all good games start with a thoughtful design. When the goal is to have fun while learning something, the design of a game becomes even more important.

Game designer and engineer Mitu Khandaker founded Glow Up Games to tell diverse stories and make sure everyone can see themselves in the video games they play. She also teaches others to code and create video games that reflect who they are.

Filmmaker Crystal Emery developed “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See,” a virtual reality game that lets you experience different STEM careers.

Heather Chandler, a video game producer, channels her love of puzzles and games into building escape rooms and designing puzzle-based board games.

Debbie Sterling founded GoldieBlox, a toy company that hopes to get girls to fall in love with STEM, challenges gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character.

imagine

There are many parts to game design, including mechanics and rules, characters and world design, story and objective, and sounds and effects. Games can also be effective tools for teaching and sharing important messages with players.

Design a game that teaches an important message to others.

  • What is the important message you want your game to teach?
  • What type of game will you create — a board game, a video game, a card game or some other kind of game?
  • What are the parts and pieces of your game? How will it work?

For inspiration, listen to Mitu Khandekar’s conversation with a kid game designer.

Earyn McGee created a game played by thousands over Twitter which exposes the world to her research and helps make women of color visible in STEM fields. Can you #FindThatLizard?

create

Once you’ve decided on what type of game you want to create, you’ll need to gather your materials.

For a board game or card game, you can create a prototype using cardboard, paper, and any other household materials.

If you’re interested in creating a video game, try using Scratch, a free, online coding platform that makes it easy to create your own video games. You can design your own characters and settings, add sounds and music, and use coding to program your game to interact with users.

Check out this tutorial video or these coding cards to get started with Scratch.

Once you’ve got a prototype of your game, be sure to send a picture, video, or file showing off your work to socialmedia@kid-museum.org. Include your name, age, and a description of your project for a chance to be featured on KID Museum’s website or social media!