Gamification for the Win! Escape from Detention

You're looking at the proud smiling faces of a middle school Game App designer. Howard County Middle School students Tekye (and family friend to MHMS) and our own MHMS 8th grader Lasya, participated in an exciting program called HiTech - wherein they helped to create a super cool APP Game called Escape from Detention. And by the way, it's NOT EASY! It somehow reminds me of Frogger Get a peek at the game with this YouTube video! Here's a few screenshots I grabbed off my iPad to give you an idea what it looks like!
From an email from Tekye's proud mom, friend Catina (and former MHMS English teacher!) "The new game offers a variety of break out scenarios at escalating levels of complexity. Download the (free) game and try your hand at “springing” the student from captivity while avoiding myriad pitfalls. Escape is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android systems. App Store
linkGoogle Play
image I am so very proud of the work completed by the teenagers and the HiTech team that I had to share with you." 
According to an HCL press release: “More than 1,200 students between the ages of 11 and 18 [all of whom are students, public, private, or home-schooled, living in Howard County] have participated in HiTech classes since its inception … creating music, 3D images, videos [and] e-books.”
From an article by: Technically Baltimore: "Mindgrub Technologies, the Catonsville-based innovation agency that started a new gaming division this year, has released its latest game. Escape from Detention is a collaboration with students participating with the Howard County Library’s HiTech, the library’s new STEM digital media lab, who helped with the game’s design and development. Players maneuver detention-serving digital students around time-based obstacles (desks and other students) inside of classrooms. Download Escape! From Detention for Android or iOS. The game itself was produced in Corona, said Alex Hachey, Mindgrub’s creative lead, at the Baltimore Mobile Meetup in December. Producing the game in Corona makes it cross-platform, so it’ll work on iOS, Android, the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Hachey also said the game development was paid for, as it’s a “client services game.”
Over a six-week period, Mindgrub employees served as instructors teaching students at the HiTech lab principles on game design, theory and logic, as well as teaching classes on producing sound effects, characters and game layout. It was the students who came up with concept for Escape! From Detention." Again, I played it....and it's NOT EASY -- but I really want to make it to the library!   
Photos of Tekye by his Mom, Catina & PicMonkey designed by me

HiTech is funded in part through a federal grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and IMLS.  


  1. Congratulations to Tekye on what sounds like an awesome game! I'd disagree with your blog post title - I don't think this is gamification, which, according to Wikipedia is "the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems". This is authentic learning, respecting games and education both. Great project!

    1. Cool, thanks for the clarification - but as shallow as I am I thought the title grabbed! Besides, in that definition the long work they did on coding the game, creating graphics & storyboarding before the design I thought made it fit. But hey! Always happy to learn & get constructive crit! Cheers!

  2. SO cool! Thanks for posting on "Escape from Detention!" It's been consuming my iPad time more than I'd care to admit :) Yay, gamification!

    1. Thanks dearie! YOU are a gaming expert & having your stamp of approval means a lot to me. Even though I'm not a gaming expert (except when it comes to Plants vs. Zombies!) I really wanted to share the triumphs of Tekye and our A+ Partnership w/ HCL !!

      Go HoCo!

  3. Nice game.I have little bit.To get the key from the light:detach a corner the piece of paper; switch on the tap in the janitor's room and dunk the paper scrap in it; Rub the over off the board elastic to uncover a straw; consolidate the straw and the soggy paper ball to make a pea-shooter and blow it at the key.Best wishes.~Maria Brown.


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