Videogame controller - Renee Stamatis Photography

Teaching with videogames: exploring game mechanics in VCE Media Narrative

Be a wanderer in a videogame with no overt rules and explore how this format changes your experience of a game’s narrative.

Note: this lesson follows on from Teaching with videogames: VCE Media narrative genre and style.

Year level: 10–11

Subject areas: VCE Media Unit 2 Outcome narrative genre and style

Suggested duration: 2 lessons

Technology required:

  • the game Dear Esther ($12) or excerpts on YouTube

Download the full lesson plan

The lesson plan includes links to the Victorian Curriculum, indications of lesson timing, and ideas for differentiation and assessment.

In this lesson, students will

1. Explore game rules in developing a game narrative. What happens when a game has no overt rules? How do we know if we're playing right or wrong?
2. Explore the way game mechanics reinforce some behaviours and suggest against other behaviours
3. Introduce game mechanics into a previously developed game storyboard

By the end of this lesson, students should

how game mechanics and interactivity build narrative
be able to
identify features of game design in leading narrative choice
incorporate game mechanics into a game narrative of their own
build on their understanding of gaming codes and conventions

Authorial credit

You are free to copy, communicate and adapt this lesson plan which was created by Dean Ashton, Alora Young and ACMI and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.