Gating the Story: Finding the Video Game in Your Computer Lab

Session 2: 1:00pm-2:00pm (Friday March 01, 2024)



The demonstration will start by introducing some ways that classic games teach players how to play the game without explicit instruction. This part will show how Super Mario Bros. teaches the player what they need to know in a safe space (the iconic level “World 1-1). Metroid wordlessly teaches ruleset by gating the player before advancing on. The Bioware title Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic does this in a more sophisticated manner by placing gates on the player through the story. This will be described by using a diagram. The presenter will transition by describing the design of a Burlington English language lab that was launched at Salinas Adult School in 2016. Progress of the adult learners is monitored and gated. This made it easier to create individualized instruction in a hybrid flex (not HyFlex) environment. The presenter will explain how surmounting these gates can be inherently rewarding in the same way in video games.


Lead Presenter Bio Photo

Robert Brian Gomez

Salinas Adult School, Salinas Union High School District

Robert Brian Gomez is a high school equivalency teacher at Salinas Adult School. He spent the last 9 years teaching ESL at all levels and several years as a VESL computer skills teacher. He also served SAS as chair on the technology committee. He is a technology, hybrid and distance education lead at SAS. He earned his M.A. at San Jose State University for his examination of narrative in digital games.

Type of Presentation

Demonstration (60 Minutes)


  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Support Staff or Other Staff (Transition Specialists, Counselors, Librarians, etc.)

Program Strands

  • English as a Second Language

Category Strands

  • Digital Learning Foundations
  • Designing Learning Experiences
  • Digital Learning Models