• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Tutorial Doctor

Experiential Education through Gaming

7 posts in this topic

So, I have this crazy idea that games can be successfully educational without being a boring multiple choice game with a few game mechanics throne in to make it more game-like. 

 

I think the way to do this is to teach through game design and gameplay. Creating an experience for the player will help them learn more than just asking them multiple choice questions about a place they've never been to. 

 

This is where I think games have a major potential in education. There are bunches of educational games that I don't find very educational at all. I think that NASCAR games are more educational in how to drive than a multiple choice game of the state drivers license  manual, beefed up with a few sound effects and neat characters. 

 

I learned the mechanics of a car from driving games. I learned problem solving from Tomb Raider and chess. These games created an experience. They didn't throw a textbook at me about problem solving and algorithms about solving problems. They presented problems, and I had to solve them (no help for the most part in the older Tomb Raider (you know how I feel about that already though. hehe)). 

 

Once again, it takes good game mechanics. Things like Risk and Reward etc. 

 

I have actually used chess principles to catch thieves in the act. 

 

Have you heard the story about the boy who saved his sister from a wild animal by using a tactic he learned in WOW? I think it was wow, where you have to pretend to be dead in order to trick someone. And it worked (hmm, sounds like an interesting mechanic for a war game).

 

I think that level design is a form of storytelling, but instead of using words, you use visual cues. For instance, when writing a story, you choose a location for the story and you describe the story. This leaves the actual image of the story up to the reader, but in level design you get to create the location and describe it through texturing and lighting etc. Same thing with characters.

 

The design of the game, if done right, should be what educates the user. Game design is a visual art, so it should speak in a visual language. 

 

I have a dilemma though. I am looking for game design techniques that make games more visually educational. I know location is already apparent when you design the location. The posing of characters tell you something about the characters, even the texturing and modeling can, but I am talking about all around design, and how it can be used to teach something, without having to use much text. 

 

I am thinking of a historical game where history plays out, and you partake in real historical events to help you understand them better. I think that should be a whole new genre of gaming. 

 

So, anyone can list any examples or uses of design to teach or educate the player?

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every game teaches the player.

 

Do you read the manual cover-to-cover before playing a game, or does the game teach you how to play it?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean intentionally designing the game as an educational game, yet using the game design itself to teach a specific topic. Like say I wanted to teach people physics, I could make the game in such a way that it teaches physics without feeling like I am watching lecture, or doing a multiple choice quiz (which most educational games feel like). 

 

I once read a book called "Trigonometry the Easy Way." It was actually like an adventure novel about these guys who uncover the principles of trigonometry through experience with different issues that arise in their town. It is a very good way to teach math through a book (even a complex subject as trigonometry) to a child. 

 

I am thinking about something like this in a video game.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also exploring the field of learning games right now. And I prefer to call them "learning games" rather than "educational games". I think the difference is that while educational games are created with the intent to transfer a curriculum-specific contents to the players, learning games are designed with the ultimate task of "fun", and if there are elements or features in the game that contribute to players' learning and knowledge - hey, that's a great added value.

Nearly all games can teach something.

My youngest son, when he was only 5, insisted on playing Farmville which was particularly popular at that time with his elders. No one had the time to teach him anything. While playing he learned to read a language he doesn't know (not an English speaker), learn new vocabulary and also make rather complicated calculations of percentages on time to know when his crops will be ready. I don't think anyone has designed Farmville thinking this will award kids with either language or mathematical education.

And don't even get me started on Minecraft or Maple Story and other MMOs.

I think we're walking a very fine line when we start out by thinking about the added value of the game instead of the actual fun factor that makes it a game.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. The examples you gave about your 5 year old is what I am talking about. They are learning problem solving skills and management skills. I see just how fine that line is though, and perhaps that is the hard part, and the reason why there aren't that many learning games worth playing. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'd like to share related to this topic is something I'd heard on the news a couple of years ago. There was some sort of puzzle that scientists could not crack. It was something having to do with decrypting some sort of DNA strand. They had worked on it for years. Ultimately, the science group released the DNA strand as a puzzle that people all around the world could play to try to crack it, without knowing that they were actually solving a scientific problem. It turned out that a gamers had discovered the solution to this problem through playing a game. I wish I had more details on this, but it is an example of how gaming could be utilized to solve intricate problems.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow. That's cool. I'm sure that gamers can solve a lot of stuff, so many brilliant people in the world. I have a friend whose two year old solved a rather difficult puzzle on the nabi tablet. I was shocked.

And I can't tell you how many times I'm playing a game and getting whooped, only to find out later it's like a 5 year old bearing me ol' fashioned-like.

I think games can be far more valuable than traditional education.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0