Over the years, the decades, I have been time after time convinced of the value of games to teach, and so recently have been researching game design. I want to create my own educational games. The topic is wide-ranging and opinions on every aspect, even the definition of game, are many. Unfortunately the number of books and articles on the actual how-to of designing is sparse. At this blog post, I will post what I find in my search. Do you recommend any resources I can add below?
The book I have found most interesting because it is almost a philosophical take on games is The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses; unfortunately reading it will not equip you to create your own game but will allow you to thoroughly evaluate one you've already designed.
Games focus on health, wealth, contentment, fun, war, much more—and the list grows daily. My emphasis right now is conflict resolution. Many of us have been using games in ADR training for decades and have found them beneficial for learning: Everything from a multitude of versions of Prisoners' Dilemma to Med-Arb. Several people with whom I have talked think it is time for a new crop of games to teach about conflict resolution and a number of people are working on design, myself included.
Let's look at an example of a teaching game. Although not focused on conflict resolution, here's one that looks at our other focus here: brains! From the news release:
AXON offers players a rare glimpse of how the brains is formed and an ‘inside the brain’ introduction to the strange world of neurons, proteins and axons.
Click to play the game.
At Gamasutra, the place where the news release about AXON was posted, you will find much information about game design. I enjoyed the three-part series on timing in storytelling. Story, by the way, is a critical component of many games. I also was glad I took the time to read Improv Acting And Game Development.
More soon. I will continue to post resources here at this blog post as I find them.
- "Interactivity and Reward-Related Neural Activation during a Serious Videogame" (PLoS ONE)
- "A video game that involves killing cancer cells, activates parts of the brain involved in motivation" (CNet)-About the research at the PLoS ONE link immediately above
- "My View: A Game-Changing Major" (CNN.com)-Game design is being taught in college
- "Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design" (Gamasutra)
- Slide presentation on gameification (MPI)-on how game principles can create engagement for meetings and events
- "Adult Learning Theory in Games and Simulations" (LEEF Blog)
- Gamification Wiki
- "Serious Games Taxonomy: Game Theory Part 1" "...Part 2" (LEEF Blog)
- "All The World’s A Game" (TechCrunch)
- Video: "How to Use Games to Excel at Life and Work" (99%)
- Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success
- "The Gamification of Education Infographic" (Knewton)
- "Motivations of Play in Online Games" (Journal of CyberPsychology and Behavior)
- Chapter 6 of Art of Game Design: "The Game Begins with an Idea"-The whole book is online here.
- "Are you an achiever, explorer, socializer, or killer: Is conflict resolution a game?" (idealawg)
- "Why Do Games Need Neuroscience? or, The Importance of Having a Theory" (AndrewHsu.com)
- TED Talks on gaming
- "First Steps in Board Game Design" (EDTEC)