11-13 yrs old
14-18 yrs old
18+ yrs old
Art and Design
Inspired by the 2011 novel, Ready Player One and the history of video games, this project encourages reading, writing, creating, and collaborating!
February 9, 2018
Quizlet for Ready Player One!
This is a Quizlet flashcard set with information, facts, and general questions about the novel and film, Ready Player One – great activity for memory!
Group Feedback Form for Ready Player One Project!
This is a useful and duplicatable Microsoft Form that I used to evaluate group participation and receive feedback – feel free to remix this as well!
Living Computers: Museum + Labs
This is a computer museum in Seattle, Washington that explores the evolution of computers and games, including the Apple Lisa, the Xbox, and VR tech!
The Upcoming Ready Player One Movie!
This is a link to the film website for Ready Player One, which is being direct by visionary, Steven Spielberg – it will be a visual delight, at least!
The Ready Player One Novel!
Of course, reading the novel should be a high-priority – this is a link to the Amazon page, where you can purchase mass copies for a classroom!
Sway of Ready Student One Project!
Kai, Max, Krish, Mikylla, and Bianca (7th Graders at Renton Prep) created an amazing Sway that explicates their design process and their connections!
Video Timeline of the Evolution of Video Games
Charisse, Angel, Kalkedan, and Lakelle (7th Graders at Renton Prep) created a video about video games from the 1980s to today, plus Minecraft!
Detailed PDF for Ready Student One – Level 1 (Minecraft Project)
This is a PDF that explicates the various components required for the project as well as the connected Common Core State Standards of each component.
Minecraft Arcade Machines of the 1980s!
Alden and Michael (7th Graders at Renton Prep) created a series of old-school arcade machines of the 1980s using math, art, and design techniques!
1980s Video Game City
Jair, Jonathan, Samuel, Kush, and Gradin (7th Graders at Renton Prep) created a city with various icons of 1980s video games as well as a museum!
Presentation of Ready Student One Project!
Kai, Max, Krish, Mikylla, and Bianca (7th Graders at Renton Prep) presented their Sway in front of their classmates and explicated their design ideas!
Connecting Literacy and Gaming
The primary guiding idea behind this project is the connection between reading and play. My students inspired this project after I heard they were interested in reading Ready Player One – a novel about a world immersed in a VR game known as The Oasis. It seemed a natural connection to develop a project with students that incorporated both gaming and literacy. Although it was not required, I had the students read the novel in tangent with their build, so they could develop ideas for their projects. Students connected with the novel and Minecraft opened opportunities for them to share their knowledge/creativity!
How the Past Has Influenced the Present
There’s also a historical and evolutionary question that arises with this project – how did video games begin? And how have they evolved throughout time? The novel centers around the culture of the 1980s, which brings up conversations and discussions around the value of video games in culture. Pong, such as simple, sport-based game was a marker in the rise of an industry that is now estimated to be $100 billion dollar industry! Adventure from the Atari 2600 introduced easter eggs in games, which led to video game developers to create immersive worlds that users get drawn into, like star near a black hole. This project gets students to think about scaffolding, evolution, and progress – it reveals how history is important to innovation and that’s when learning happens! While not every school or teacher can make it happen – I would highly suggest visiting a computer museum!
Presenting Projects to an Audience
The supporting idea to this project is getting students to showcase their work to audiences. Let them know how proud you are of them by creating an opportunity to tour their world and their creations. As digital natives, you could also have students share their work on social media or reach out to others that can highlight their work on a larger stage. Students often have to present on topics that they’re not passionate about – and perhaps, a project that involves games (something they already do on their free-time) will motivate them to enhance their speaking skills!
Adapt and remix this project as much as you’d like! Work with students to mold it to the needs of your class and above all – make it fun!
There’s a ton of supplemental activities students can do with this project/lesson, including Quizlet and going on a trip to a technology museum. The idea is that students are building knowledge and exercising different parts of their brain through different activities. In preparation for reading the novel, Ready Player One, I wanted to introduce students to games and why they're culturally significant. We began our project playing an extraordinarily simple game, in which you simply make paper clips. No fancy graphics. Just clicking. What makes that game addicting? There's not even color in that game. I introduced students to the game, Adventure. It's a video game for the Atari 2600 video game console and is considered the first action-adventure game. It's simple in its design, but incredibly frustrating given the lack of instructions or a tutorial level. While Adventure is decidedly frustrating - it does have a unique reward for players that push through the frustration: an easter egg. Below is the list of game I had my students play:
I know it’s just supposed to be just “a” lesson, but I want educators to be able to remix this project into whatever length of lesson (or lessons) they want! While its original intent was for a two-week time-frame, it can easily be adapted into mini-lessons about the history of games or a discussion day about the future of VR gaming. For this project, I would expect my students to attain competency in the following: