Games and Engagement

“I’ve suggested that a lot of what games do to engage people should be built into classwork. I’ve asked all of you to think about that those things might be. When you strip away the interface, the flashy graphics, and the gore splatter, what’s left in a popular game? Can you evaluate that without getting caught up in the specifics of a particular game? “

Above quoted from Phaedrus

GOOD game design include  clear objectives for gamers.  First person shooter it is to make it to the end of the level alive and kicking, racing games it is to be the first one to finish, and sports games it is to outscore the opponent.  Competition is something increases the appeal of good game design.  You want to beat the other person to gain some pride.  They get to be independent and take control of their destiny.  Do they succeed?  Do they fail?  It is up to them to decide.  With each lap, quarter, or level, student’s drive continues to grow and the desire to learn is there.  It pushes them to acquire more knowledge and be successful in their environment.

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6 Responses to “Games and Engagement”

  1. SOME games include clear objectives for gamers. Many do not. You’ve got part of it, tho. Competition is part of it.

    So, do you think I should limit the number of A’s in the class and only give out A’s to the top 5%? 🙂

  2. No, I wouldn’t like that at all. 🙂

    I only meant that if a game that is well designed has clear objectives then it will most likely be engaging to the gamer.

  3. These objective need to be fair and reasonable as well. 🙂

  4. I think I’d disagree about the objectives being the source of engagement. Ultimately the objective of all games is to win. There’s nothing clearer than that. The rules of the game are likewise spelled out, but inspite of that not every game is engaging.

    So I’d disagreee that one factor in engagement is the presence of “clear objectives for gamers.”

  5. Hmm, I’ll agree with that. No matter how clear or good we think the objectives or rules of a game are they will not be the source of engagement.

    So, would the student’s drive to want to learn more be considered a form of engagement in either a game or lesson, right?

  6. Yes, that’s exactly right. That drive to make the next level IS engagement. The famous “one more try” and “oh, let’s do that again” statements.

    Now, why do they wanna?


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