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Kai-7

Why educational game has to be boring?

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I did my dissertation on Edutainment, Gamification of Learning/Teaching, Computer assisted learning (CAL), and Serious games.

What are we using as our yard stick for boring games? What audience are we looking at? and what level of engagement are we expecting?

If we're talking about the K-12 market, there have been many games over the years that are 'Edutainment' that have some reasonably good engagement. The Math Blaster series by Davidson was particularly well known and has recently been modernised for the current platforms. If we're talking about adults, the focus seems more heavily on CAL where we have gamification techniques being applied to flashcard systems which is what Duolingo relies on with its badges and leader boards.

I'd love to do a market study to see what people look for in their learning platforms, I would expect adults want to see a 'professional appearance' and to show 'good structure', while children want something interactive and the chance to 'blow up the baddies'. Using a Bartle style approach, i'd expect adults to be more "social/achievers" while children are likely to be more "Killer/Explorer" type players, leading to significantly different experience that needs to be built for them.

I think the challenge for education games designed for adults is that the industry for this tends to focus on teaching kids, because its 'easier to show a fun game for kids to play that teaches', and that 'kids are playing games more than adults'... missing the demographic change that has happened over the last 10 years pushing up the average gamer age, up up and up.

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