California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
Depending on your district or school site, there may be a larger or smaller emphasis placed on meeting state standards. Fortunately for both cases, creating virtual worlds requires the development and practice of essential writing skills. When it comes to creating interactive narrative video games, writing (and the planning that goes along with it) is absolutely necessary for having a high quality, successful end product.
While there are many standards that could apply when running a virtual worlds project, I have included a few of the most relevant 11th grade writing standards below (see the full list of California State Standards for ELA here).
Unlike with text-only narratives, video games are multimodal, which means that students will be able to make use of many different types of sensory information to communicate—such as images, sounds, text, and player controls. This means that students will have to be even more thoughtful and efficient with their storytelling—not less. Clarity, coherency, planning, editing, and technology are going to become even more important. Interactive narrative games can become confusing for a user/player very quickly when students do not leverage the skills and best practices identified below. Luckily, due to the visual and interactive nature of the games, students and their peers can often identify weaker and less effective sections of their game narrative much faster than in their text-only narratives. Happy writing!
Writing Standard 11.3 - Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Writing Standard 11.4 - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Writing Standard 11.5 - Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
Writing Standard 11.6 - Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.