ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Learning through game modding

By Magy Seif El-Nasr, Brian K. Smith
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 4, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1111293.1111301

There has been a recent increase in the number of game environments or engines that allow users to customize their gaming experiences by building and expanding game behavior. This article describes the use of modifying, or modding, existing games as a means to learn computer science, mathematics, physics, and aesthetic principles. We describe two exploratory case studies of game modding in classroom settings to illustrate skills learned by students as a result of modding existing games. We also discuss the benefits of learning computer sciences skills (e.g., 3D graphics/mathematics, event-based programming, software engineering, etc.) through large design projects and how game design motivates students to acquire and apply these skills. We describe our use of multiple game modding environments in our classes. In addition, we describe how different engines can be used to focus students on the acquisition of particular skills and concepts.

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