Tyler's post mentioned an idea for organizing opportunities for student dialogue via Skype in an effort to gather information and feedback related to Givercraft. While I'm not sure how a recorded Skype conversation would work, I love the idea of getting students together to talk to each other, with each other, about the experience of playing the game. A series of prompts (Tyler provided several in his post) could certainly be the source of a rich online discussion between and among small groups of students from the various participating classrooms. Analysis of these online discussions would provide those in our class and the participating teachers with truly valuable information about what works for students.
I continue to get hung up on the emphasis on the game without as much emphasis on the text and the actual novel(s) students are reading...which should serve as the primary focus of the project instead of a secondary point of reference that some students may or may not really be thinking about at all. So much of this has to do with what is actually happening in the classroom, though. Our emphasis here (in the course) is on the game aspect, as MC is the tool we are using to differentiate for the students. I wonder, though: Are the teachers participating in Givercraft and in SurvivalCraft seeing MC as a way to differentiate literacy instruction for their students, or is it a brief, fun diversion that is kinda-sorta related to what their students are reading?
And what about the students? Do they get it? Are they jazzed about the literature, or have they forgotten about the text as they focus on building (or destroying) structures and storing up supplies? I need to talk with my middle school MC buddies across the parking lot and ask them. There is much to be learned from the students, too.