Pavlov’s Puppies: How Student Teams Lead Social Causes in the Community and Connect with Peers through Gaming and Social Networking
Abstract: A small team of novice game-builders is working in their basements, their garages and where ever their laptops take them, to collaborate and brainstorm and build. Using a Pavlovian model, the team of children is creating a game aimed at stemming drug-use in their community and beyond. This article examines the development of responsible/ethics-based community projects that allow youth, working in small teams, to use technology to take their message forward. Youth have rapidly developed on-line social skills; they are the contingent to be tapped when responsible community groups look for leadership in the good cause. Using game-making tools within the grasp of intermediate level students, youth design activities to reinforce and condition their peers to have a health-based response to community youth issues. Team members are first to benefit. Teachers and administrators and non-profit societies can transfer this team model to their own communities.