My name is Laren Hammonds, though when the option's available I tend to go by Clayr online. I'm a middle school language arts teacher in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and I started digging into game-/quest-based learning as a possibility for my classroom in the spring of 2012.
My time as a gamer, myself, goes way back, but when thinking about gaming for learning, I tend to pull most from my time playing World of Warcraft. My husband hooked me in August 2005, and I LOVE THAT GAME. The gameplay, the storytelling, the developed cultures, the world environment and social interactions... all of these things inspire me when I'm looking for ideas for my classes.
This past school year, my 7th and 8th grade English classes were set up as quest-based games (here's the game landing page), and the 7th grade year ended with a game design project using this Game Design Toolkit. I'm pretty sure I made every mistake it's possible to make when implementing games for learning, but I learned a ton. Next year, I'll be team-teaching all 8th grade with a social studies teacher colleague, and we plan to adapt what I did this year to bring out content areas together and build a new game for our kids. I can't wait, and I'm so excited to learn more from participating with you guys :)
I'm pretty sure I made every mistake it's possible to make when implementing games for learning, but I learned a ton.
No, no I 'm still finding more mistakes that can be made. I collaborate with a group of educators who are implementing game based learning. We have a former Small Business Development Center Director, who always tell us "if you're going to fail - fail fast." We have learned to fail exceedingly fast. But you are absolutely right - that failing teach you alot. It's alot like gaming "Die and Do Over."