GHC teacher applies game design training to the classroom
Note: The following material has been provided by Georgia Highlands College for publication. – KtE
Students taking Victoria Banks’ English composition courses at Georgia Highlands College this fall may find themselves working to gain experience points (XP) while completing homework and participating in class discussions.
While in graduate school, Banks focused on media rhetoric, interactive storytelling, and screenwriting in video games.
“I worked as a video game reporter while completing my capstone, interactive script and gameplay demo for a sci-fi (role-playing) RPG,” she said. “Along with these projects and experiences, I pursued a career in academia and applied my experience of game design and interactivity to the classroom.
Banks likes to include reward systems, quests, levels, and more interactive elements to facilitate an engaging classroom experience.
“My students actually call me Professor Pumpkin,” Banks said. “Pumpkin has always been one of my nicknames / pseudonyms as a player and content creator, so my students have started using it as well. “
Banks said it wasn’t until she entered college that she realized she had a passion for academia.
“I found that my mindset expanded, my knowledge grew, and my writing skills honed through collaborating with other creative students and instructors,” she said. “I admired many teachers who guided and encouraged me, so I wanted to have a similar positive impact on my colleagues and students.”
Banks said the collaboration and the ways in which the professors supported each other attracted her to GHC. In addition to serving the students inside the classroom, Banks aims to contribute to the development of the Writing Center and the growth of the English Department.
Describing herself as a “Renaissance woman,” Banks said most of her free time was spent collaborating at the creative writing club, working on indie game projects, practicing in a gym. mixed martial arts, hiking with your dog, or learning new skills.
“Although I have a background in game script writing and narrative design, I have also studied various areas of media composition such as film, television, graphic novels, social media and more,” Banks said.
At GHC, Banks hopes to offer a unique perspective on multimodal composition and rhetoric while helping to develop the writing center to its full potential.