Inspiring writing through the new Pixel Press App

Prince of Persia - £335 million at the box office.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - £150 million at the box office.
Resident Evil - £200 million at the box office

What do all these movies have in common? They are all video games that were developed into films.

With other popular video games currently being made into films, such as, Angry Birds, Temple Run and Assassin's Creed, it seems Hollywood is exploiting the popularity and the storytelling potential of video games. Why not do it in the classroom?

I am a big believer in using Camouflage Learning as a technique to engage reluctant learners and 'trick,' children into learning. To read more about Camouflage learning Click HERE.

I have also previously blogged about iPad apps that allow children to create their own iPad games. To read that post, click here.

This week saw the release of the eagerly anticipated "Floors," app by Pixel Press.

This incredible free app allows children to design their own computer game by hand or within the app.

They can download the Sketch Guide from the Pixel Press website and carefully draw and design their own platform game. Once completed they can use the iPad camera to scan their picture for it to be analysed and added into the app. The app then allows children to design their level with different themes, colours and options. Then the fun bit, getting to play their games!

I used this app with some Year 5 children today and the response was incredible! To have the ability to be as creative as they could and add so many different elements to their game had them excited and eager to work. Adding ladders, coins, monkey bars and portals to name just a few of the game features, had them discussing, planning and designing their game intricately.

Unfortunately, when it came to scanning their plans, it wasn't possible using the older iPad 2 model.

Having the discussion about my day with my stepson when I got home led me to show him the app. He was hooked, instantly wanting to create his own game.

I used it as a chance to get him to do some creative writing! And you have to believe despite being quite a talented writer, to get Callum to write off his own back is a real challenge!

However once he had created and played his game, I asked him to describe the game as if it was a story and challenged him to write a little story of his gameplay. He relished the challenge as he was so proud of the game he had created. Once finished, I recorded him reading his story over a video of the gameplay (which has been slowed down to fit with the narration.)



I think the potential for this app to inspire creative writing is fantastic! With different themes to choose from and the ability to purchase enemies and power ups it will only inspire children's imaginations more! And just like Hollywood, create some BLOCKBUSTER stories based on video games!

Comments

  1. Great blog!!! I am also a 6-8 ICT teacher! Please checkout our ICT blog here at PHMS as well!! For open to new ideas! http://mrkirsch.edublogs.org

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  2. Some of my students can record their game but others can't. I'm stumped at how to activate the recording in app. Any ideas?

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