How about interviewing a subject while playing a video game? This staff did just that.

“Who wants to play video games and get graded for it?”

That was my initial question when class started and, teaching at an all boys school, you can imagine how many hands shot straight up.

The premise is this: the student sits down with the interview subject (in our case, it was our new Dean of Students), they pick up their video game controller, and they chat while playing.

To start this project, I showed them the Washington Post’s Twitch channel where a gamer/reporter sits down with a politician and they chat about politics, gaming, personal lives, etc.

My students were hooked and the planning commenced: Who are we going to interview? What are the technical parameters? Will we live stream it or just record it?

After a few tries, here is what we found:

  • Who are we going to interview? We found that the ones willing to do the interviews were the ones that were pretty good at gaming. If they weren’t comfortable behind the controller, they were really hesitant to do the interview solely for that reason. For our Dean of Students interview, we found out that he was an avid gamer. That makes a huge difference.
  • What are the technical parameters? We used a student’s El Gato, which records the game part and we ran the camera AND the live gaming through our live streaming system, Open Broadcast Software (OBS).
  • Will we live stream it or just record it? We opted to not live stream because we were recording this during the school day and we didn’t want it to be a distraction in class. We’re considering live streaming an episode after school and looking at the statistics. Since we recorded it (you can stream and record simultaneously), we ran the file through Premiere and edited the video for time and some content.

Kids love to watch other people play video games. Twitch.tv states that they see 15 million daily active viewers. The best parts of all of this were that the interviewer was engaged throughout the entire experience and it was fun!

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