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  • James Portnow's Game Design Challenge: P.E. Game

  •  Jame's Portnow's Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer, asking you to look at games in a new way -- from the perspective of a game creator, producer, marketer, businessperson, and so forth.

    Each Wednesday I'll propose a design question. You'll have one week to answer it (see below for how to submit your answers). The following week, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted along with some commentary.

    The Challenge
    Design a physical education game for first graders.

    Assignment Details
    You've just received a commissioned from the Board of Education to design a physical education game for first graders. As you read through the commission, you pick out the following key sentences:

    • Due to budget cuts there will only be 1 teacher to supervise 20 students.
    • All the students must be supervised at all times (they can't break off into little groups that the teacher can't watch).
    • The teacher will be provided with one ball.
    • Because of state regulations, this ball must be used in every game the students play.
    • The game can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 30 minutes, but all the students must have the opportunity to participate.
    • Remember that this is a P.E. class, so the game should give the students exercise or train a physical skill.
    • The Board of Education awards bonus funds for games that are educational as well as physical.

    To Submit
    Feel free to discuss your ideas on the forums. I'll be checking in periodically, so you can post questions there, too.

    Send your answers to with the subject line "Design Challenge." Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 5 p.m. PDT. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title. Please try to keep your answers to 500 words or fewer -- unless they're really good!

    The responses for this challenge will appear Thursday, May 1, 2008.
    The next Design Challenge question will be posted Wednesday, April 23, 2008.

    Disclaimer:, James Portnow, and entities associated with James Portnow or GameCareerGuide are not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to James Portnow's Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.


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