I really struggled to choose a learning domain for modifying
. My biggest issue was trying tofigure out a way to keep the game fun but also be ableto teach real terms and concepts in something that Iteach: acting, singing, performing, songwriting. Itwasn’t until I had a conversation with an old classmatefrom my college days, who loves to play the originalgame, that I realized what a great fit songwriting, or song-building, would be for this game modification.My friend suggested, “Why don’t you just build songswith song parts?”This made me consider how I could translate theresources into song parts.There are five basic parts of asong and five resources! Perfect!The basic hit was the first song form I thought of because it already resembled what was called for to build the original road. I had to get a little creative withnaming the other two song forms, as there are really nonames for them in the contemporary music world. Ifigured that songs with bridges were usually lovesongs. And most songs that had all the song parts Icalled Masterpieces because usually these types of songs you hear on the radio have a greater, grander feel.
Victory Point = Song Points, Victory Cards = ‘Gigging’ Cards
One aesthetic change which is especially important is the new ‘gigging’ cards. I chose various typical venuesthat performing songwriters may find themselves in. The point of doing this was to show that the quickest wayto ‘win’ as a songwriter is to get out in the real world and perform your songs to the people.
Progress & Special Cards = Music Business Cards
Instead of drastically changing the rules of how the game works, I chose to reskin these types of cards byintroducing students to music business terms (i.e., “sampler, copyright © protection, prolific artist, record label, publishing house). Because the craft of songwriting is truly a commodity-based art form,
is especiallyappropriate because of the trading, stealing and monopolization of song parts, or, more accurately, ideas.
Use of Terms & Questions to Encourage Metacognition
Starting questions are placed on each resource card to encourage students’ metacognition on what it means towrite, build and own songs. Players should be encouraged to explore why The Longest Road is called RecordLabel! and why The Largest Army is called Publishing House! Why is the robber called a Sampler and whatdoes it mean to sample someone else’s music to create your own? How does a songwriter own a piece of music? These are all the types of questions that should be explored both before and after gameplay sessions.