Before I continue sharing games I created or adapted and actually used, it is important to say that I’m exploring this kind of tasks with the aim to understand how ludicity plays a role in language learning. Couple of months ago I enrolled in a collaborative course offered by Instituto Airton Senna to discover in what technological tools ludicity was present . Of course those games (either analogous or digital) always are mentioned and acknoledged as one of the things that learners enjoy, especially children and teenagers. But the concept of ludicity is much deeper and broader than this. It attends our need to feel good about something and gives us pleasure. It is not so much the task itself that provide that sense of satisfaction, but the liberty of choice. When I do what I like and when I like it. Only then, I can find the pleasure in doing it.
Have you ever observed kids before they actually start playing and during the play? If you have, you know that they don’t just engage in playing (only if they are by themselves), before that they will spend sometime negotiating what they will play. Even two kids playing together if they like very specific things will have to negotiate it. How about when they decide they want to play something very different from others? Or they want actually to play with the same toy?
Although we like to believe that any game will be fun, we need to consider that in real life people have different tastes and expectations, react to each other even in very early age and need to learn to negotiate. Social environment is not about ME but us, and children learn through play how to behave socially when playing with others (not necessarily with other kids just.)
And how could we use games in a didatic way without losing the ludicity that really keeps us engaged. I would like us to raise this issue and understand that although we call it a game, it may not really be if ludicity is lost in the process of doing it, thus losing all the fun.
Ludicity – a theoretical term written by Conceição Lopes – you can download it here.
Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture written by Johan Huizinga which I am still reading. It is a well-known recommended reference book for those studying game design.
Breaking Rules – Generating and Exploring Alternatives in Language Teaching written by John F. Fanselow whose work is impacting my view of how communication occur in the classroom between learners and me, and learners and learners.