Mod It! Students as Game Creators via off the Shelf Games

Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, said, “you might learn something playing a game; you will always learn something making a game.” While games are fantastic tools in classrooms, teachers often deprive students of their most active and engaging facet – game creation. Rather than presenting the game as a fully formed product for students to experience, we can and should include students in the design of games.  We will discuss how to shift to students as producers, giving them autonomy and mastery over the subject matter. Students can modify pre-existing games as a way to explore, learn, and demonstrate understanding.  We will highlight the process and benefits of game modding and suggest some new and interesting games to try.