What Happens when Making and Gaming Intersect? Cain’s Arcade.

I know. I know. I’m late, but I just got around to watching the video, and yes, I am very impressed with Cain. What creativity! What entrepeneurship!


Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

It surprises me that Cain’s Arcade was once a joke in the neighborhood. It’s just a reminder of how we must support those who are continuing to create and innovate because we never know not only what efforts they made but also what it may become. Bravo, Cain!




Quest to Learn or Q2L is a New York City school centered on learning how we create, innovate, renovate, appreciate, and collaborate in the systems of today’s world. Using digital media and gaming, students at Q2L explore how to problem-solve in highly engaging contexts that require creativity, risk-taking, critical thinking, and teamwork.

Who says play and work don’t mix? Certainly not the folks at Q2L. What joy and enthusiasm their students must have to be able to attend a school that understands them, accepts & respects them for who they are, and prepares them for future success. We could all be so lucky!

Gaming: Playing to Learn

One of the greatest advantages of being a Writing Project teacher is being exposed to learning frameworks that are innovative, research-based, and highly engaging. At this year’s NWP Annual Meeting in Orlando, I attended a fantastic session entitled, Taking Gaming to the Next Level, facilitated by Paul Allison and Grace Raffaele from the New York City Writing Project as well as Barry Joseph from Global Kids. They are working on creating game-based curriculum. It got me so excited. It made so much sense. I wanted to know more.

I am currently reading What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee. It discusses how good game design stems from cognitive science—how we learn. This is why good games allow players to learn the systems and rules quickly and easily. This is why people can spend hours and hours engaged in playing. And by the way, they are learning. They are learning more and more about the system that is the game. They are exploring the boundaries and norms of that environment. They are testing various methods to win. They have a clear expectation in mind and are learning how to succeed.


I am excited to delve further into what implications this has for education. We all see educational gaming, but there’s so much more. There are fantastic serious games that teach about current events and dilemmas. Think about the amount of thinking that goes into writing, designing, promoting, and of course, playing these games. Imagine the potential of gaming curriculum.