Developer Diary: Game Over Gopher

January 14, 2015
By Educator Innovator

Before working with GlassLab Services to create connections between in-game data and learning outcomes that enhance the value of digital games for educators and students, our first beta partner did extensive testing on core mathematics concepts that can be difficult to understand, and can constrain math achievement as early as middle school.

Dr. Barbara Chamberlin of the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University talks about the development of Game Over Gopher, a tower defense game that teaches plotting points on the coordinate grid – one such challenging concept.

To defend a prize carrot in Game Over Gopher, the player selects various tools to “feed” the space gophers marching hungrily toward it. The game guides students in plotting coordinate pairs, differentiating negative coordinates from positive coordinates, and identifying the four quadrants. It helps establish the fundamentals of plotting functions on a grid.

Game Over Gopher enables students to better understand mathematics concepts that are crucial for 6th-grade math (and align with the Common Core Standards). It has been used effectively with students in 2nd through 7th grades learning to graph coordinates and track locations on the grid.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and developed by the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University, Game Over Gopher is a game in the Math Snacks suite of interactive educational learning modules. Math Snacks are games, interactive modules and short animations intended to help learners better understand the concepts behind the mathematics content. They are not designed to replace instruction, but to supplement it by making math accessible and engaging. Key concepts are conveyed in creative, visual, and applied ways.

Game Over Gopher is the first of six high-quality, high-impact games made by leading game developers who are part of the GlassLab beta partner program. Check out the game, real-time reports, instructional resources and more on GlassLab Games!

Original Post/ GlassLab