Gamestar Mechanic is a game-based digital learning platform designed to teach the guiding principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging and creative environment. Gamestar Mechanic was designed with the understanding that game design is an activity that allows learners to build technical, technological, artistic, cognitive, social, and linguistic skills suitable for our current and future world. The built-in curriculum in Gamestar Mechanic lets learners exercise these skills by creating games. Knowing how to put together a successful game involves system-based thinking, problem solving, collaboration, art, storytelling, and digital media literacy. The basic level is free but you can upgrade to a premium version for a small monthly fee.
There are two ways to use this site. Students can play pre-made games that are curriculum related or they can create their own games with the help of a tutorial. For teachers, librarians and parents, the Learning Guide provides rich game design content as well as a set of sample lessons and resources that can be used in conjunction with the Gamestar program. One section of the guide showcases lessons on connecting more traditional academic content to game creation. Each entry contains a story, with observations about the real world that then take shape within game creation activities. A brief class activity outline offers ideas for ways of engaging students in game creation around the entries.