- Episode Topics and Interviews
- Who is Nick Metzler? – 1:49
- Learning through Gaming: Contextual Learning and Gamification – 4:24
- From Hobby to Career – 7:48
- Gamification in the Classroom – 13:02
- “That’s Cheating” and “Squashed” – 19:54
- Game Design Full-Time – 22:34
- Last Words of Advice: Growing Design Thinkers – 25:21
- Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 31:19
On today’s episode of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin sits down with Nick Metzler, a game designer at Spin Master and past winner of Chicago’s Toy and Game Week’s Young Inventor Challenge. The two discuss contextual learning and strategies for gamifying a classroom to effectively motivate young learners. We learn about Nick’s journey as a contestant in the Young Inventor’s Challenge and how it opened up his career and pushed him into the professional sphere of the game and toy industry. We also get insight on Nick’s day to day activities as a full-time game designer and learn about some of the games he developed.
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their song “Retro Gamer” for our Interview Segment. This song can be found in full on this music archive. Also, thank you to Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) for his creative commons 4.0 contribution of “Getting it Done” for our Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round.
Thank you to Dallas Welk, the editor of this episode!
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Who is Nick Metzler? – 1:49
Dustin interviews Nick Metzler, a game designer who works at Spin Master and was the winner of the Chicago Toy and Games Week’s Young Inventor Challenge for multiple years. We hear about his gaming background and how he found himself interested in game design at an early age.
Nick Metzler has been designing games since he was 4. As a two-time award winning designer in the Toy and Game Industry, Nick has pushed the boundaries of what board games could be, having worked with major licenses such as Marvel and Disney and integrated smart speakers into his game design.
He’s designed challenges for Survivor, helped design an experimental entrepreneurship class at USC taught entirely through game simulations, and has gamified theme park rides. He was recently published in a book about creativity in board games and was named in the top 100 most influential people in the Toy and Game Industry in 2018 and 2019.
His first game hit market when he was 17 after winning the Chicago Toy and Game Fair Young Inventors Challenge for a second time, and has over 20 games in market today. He is 26.
Learning through Games: Contextual Learning and Gamification – 4:24
Dustin asks Nick to describe a time he once learned through gaming. Nick discusses contextual learning and the usefulness of gamification in the classroom to add context.
From Hobby to Career – 7:48
Nick tells us how he was introduced to the Chicago Toy and Game Week’s Young Inventor Challenge, and how it helped launch his career in game design.
Gamification in the Classroom – 11:07
Nick describes gamification and gives advice on using it to increase motivation in the classroom.
“That’s Cheating” and “Squashed” – 19:54
Nick explains the design choices for his games, That’s Cheating and Squashed, both of which won him the Chicago Toy and Game Week’s Young Inventor’s Challenge.
Game Design Full-Time – 22:34
We get insight on Nick’s day to day challenges as a game designer at Spin Master.
Last Words of Advice: Growing Design Thinkers – 23:00
Dustin asks Nick to give a last word of advice to anyone wanting to get into, or encourage someone to get into, game design.
Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Rapid Fire Round – 27:50
Dustin challenges Nick with some rapid-fire statements to see their unsolicited opinions on them. Be sure to tune in to hear his answers!