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Posts tagged games based learning
The Player Experience

The player experience is something that we all shoot for in game design. That’s because the player experience is what the player goes through when they play the game. That experience can be as simple as gamified mechanics in gamification; a games-based learning class; a simulation; or a serious game. The player experience dictates how our creation, our game, is received by our users.

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Game-Based Learning vs Gamification

Both gamificaiton and games-based learning have entered popular culture. That means there’s been debate and misunderstanding about what they are; what they’re used for; and what differentiates them. Some people want to use games-based learning when they mean gamificaiton. Others want to use gamificaiton when they should use games-based learning. Just what is the difference between games-based learning and gamificaiton?

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Play is Work

Games are a type of work if you think about it. We invest our time in games. We give games our attention and our mental capacities. But why do we do that?

What makes play work? The answer is that great work is also great play. Great play makes us more productive. That means that great games can also help us become better, and more productive, individuals.

Let’s examine game play as work, and why we continue to play games, despite difficulties to the contrary. Part of why we continue to play is because we enjoy the feelings of “competent engagement” that we get from games. This allows us to get more serious about our work. It also affects how we approach game play.

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Fired Up Fiero

Have you experienced that feeling of triumph before? The one you get from completing a really difficult level or beating an experienced opponent?  You know, when you throw your hands up over your head in triumph? That feeling is called fiero. Fiero is highly addictive and highly engaging. Often that feeling comes after we’ve become completely engrossed in the game. That’s called being a state of “flow.”

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Gamer Grind

One of the most characteristic things about today’s crop digital games is the grind. The grind, grindyness, or grinding aspect of some games is an aspect that most gamers have experienced at one time or another.  But what does that mean? How do players experience it? How can designers and educators of games-based learning address the grind in our designs?

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Achieve Explore Socialize Kill

Games and students have many things in common. One of the biggest commonalities are the type’s people they cater to. There will be the first year introductory courses that enroll mostly college freshmen. There are expansive games like Fortnite that appeal to competitive gamers. In between there are a plethora of different options available for many different types of students and gamers alike.

As a designer and instructor it’s best to understand our players and students. The better we understand them, the better able we are to cater to their needs and fully engage them in learning or play.

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Feedback Loops in Games Based Learning

Feedback is an important part of the learning process. Feedback is also really important for games to be engaging and fun. Feedback in education is based on providing the student with tangible information that they can use to improve their learning, knowledge grasp, or retention. Feedback in a game is provided to the player in order to viscerally show them the impact of their actions.. The two can be combined in order to both meet learners’ outcomes as well as provide some interesting and engaging feedback in a games-based learning environment.

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Fearful Fun

Gamification is supposed to be fun. That’s why businesses, organizations and individuals use it on a daily basis. Why else would someone play games? But what are the ethics of gamification? What stops one business or organization from doing something nefarious? Is there a limit to gamification? Should it be up to academics, the government, or individuals to police how gamification is used?

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On using games for learning

Games are currently being used for learning and education. Some of the most common practices are gamification, serious games, and games-based learning. Though that is not what many people see in practice. It seems that some of the most popular interpretations for learning games focus on scoreboards keeping track of players’ progress; playful feedback in activities; and tracking of students’ goals and achievements.

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Gamified Learning Outcomes

Games have goals. Classes have outcomes. Learning outcomes are a way for faculty, educators, and instructional designers to form and shape how a class will be structured. Game designers also form and shape the player’s experience through structures, loops, and other activities. Some may think that these two areas are completely separate. But when taking advantage of games-based learning, they become one and the same.

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