Hacking Games & Rules


  • Learners will breakdown stereotypical gaming verbs (M.A.R.C→ Move, Avoid, Release, Contact) in relationship to their own experiences and provide new definitions.
  • Learners will apply reconfigured gaming verbs to their avatars, adding motivation and character to their games.
  • Introduction/Rules- Read Rules Go around the circle and say name, age and pronoun preference and answer icebreaker: What’s your favorite word?

    Queer Game Example Activity- LIM by Merrit Kopas- Lim is a 2D top down game that explores the inner and out violence of discrimination, bullying and “just trying to fit it”. The player character is a square whose color flashes and change navigating a maze. The player must change its color to match the group or will be violently physically attacked by the group. The square has no other way of defending itself other than blending in. The verb explored in this game is “blending” or “camouflage”, while not an unusual one for video gaming, Kopas uses it in a way that highlights both the outer physical violence but the inner psychological violence of this process.

    Breaking Activity- Learners will be split into 4 groups and each given a verb (Move, Avoid, Release, Contact) and they will need to break down the work into different possible meanings and experiences they’ve had in the past week/month/year performing or enacting that word. They will create a word map (starting with their word at the center) that incorporates different ways the word can be used and examples from their daily lives.

    Breaking Discussion- Learners will show their maps and discuss their expanded definitions with each other. How did your understanding of the word change, evolve or expand during the activity? How do words change depending on the situation?

    Why did I use these words in particular? These words are the four basic verbs used in building classic video games. Reevaluating these words changes how we think about using them in our games.

    Making Activity- Game Maker Demo- Game Maker refresher (Sprites, Objects, Rooms, etc) Pass out Game Maker Cards

    Game Maker Activity- Learners will give their avatars a Verb that hacks our EXPECTATIONS of the word! Learners will hack Game Maker Cards changing and rearranging the coding to change how the verb in enacted. How do these verbs relate to your life and your avatar? This action will add characteristics & motivation to your avatar. Start building a story of how or why your avatar performs this verb.

    Closure- How did breaking down verbs affect how we think about the words we use? Do words come with expectations or rules for how we use them? How did adding verbs to our avatars change their characteristics or assumed identities? What if we add adverbs → slowly, quickly, correctly, loudly, quietly etc?

    Materials- Teacher supplies: Laptop, Projector, Wi-fi, Student supplies: Laptops, Game Maker Lite (installed on each laptop), Gamer Maker Cards (either printed or PDF) paper, pencils, Large Tyvek

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