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Why Games Work

The science of learning and how it relates to game design

Kirstie Smith

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of Why Games Work

How much of your training is applied through e-Learning? Why Games Work Feedback Games work because they apply the laws of learning. Pacing Choice Practice FUN It's a CONFUSING world out there... Virtual Worlds Serious Games Gamification Social Gaming COTS Casual Gaming What? How? Why? In 2 years 70% of top 2000 organisations will
be using gamified systems Serious Games Not all serious games were created equally is it... What about
Game Design? What images pop into your head if asked to describe a games designer? e-Learning Games Serious, Scientific, Theory Arty, Quirky, Fun. Vs Tried & tested Training has become so much about the next button; we assume learning is easy. Where is the SCIENCE of learning? So what's the big
deal with games? Goal of all training Help people make choices! Games encourage active decision making Choose a path and follow it to understand consequences Receive rewards along the way for behaviours which should be reinforced/repeated heard of...? Designed with continual reward schedules
to make you keep playing.

BUT! Most games appeal to deep human needs Pique Our Curiosity Provide A Challenge Games also satisfy shallow desires humans love novelty we like shiny new things we are an experimental species State of Flow Epic win! Laws of Learning how people learn and what conditions help them to learn better 1. Law of 4. Law of 2. Law of 5. Law of 3. Law of 6. Law of Readiness Intensity Effect Recency Primacy Exercise we must be mentally ready & motivated to learn; interest is crucial. practice, repitition and feedback; exercising the brain. learning should be associated with positive emotions as they encourage us to repeat heightens our perceptions and focuses attention; more likely to remember. first thing we learn makes the strongest impression. learning degrades over time, easier to remember more recent events. Games are great at chunking data allowing us to reach mastery step by step

The Positive effect achieved from games creates motivation to keep trying until mastery is achieved

Tasks build on prior knowledge - building on your long term memory

Games help you learn 'effortlessly' by engaging the whole brain

Good serious game design, good learning design is hard Readiness Unconcious brain Gartner 2011 Gamification No matter how great a product sounds... Quest...
Understand Serious Games and how they apply to learning! But are they really so different? Do you see the design of training as an or a Could it be both? In October 2010, e-Learning market was valued at $107.3 billion, with over half of employers using digital content in their training programmes. Quick & Easy Industry Standard Good Training CHANGE Fallen in <3 with
Interactive media Operant Conditioning 'Gamification' Points Shallow learning
Poor reinforcement
Quick Satiation A Crutch Require Mastery Important 'Games are a series of
interesting and meaningful choices' Choice has a direct impact on our well being Autonomy over access improves confidence and retention Access & Actions Sid Meier How am I doing? Can you imagine life without feedback? 100% Necessary for everything Measure
Behaviour Relay measurement to user Realize an
outcome Provide
action Consequences Positive Negative Points Sounds AAR/Debrief Results Failure Success Growth Comparison Mentor Important FEEDBACK is how you understand the impact of the CHOICES you make on your world Working
Memory Long Term
Memory Transfer Zone Working Memory Longterm Memory Bite Size
Complex (enough) Too Simple Too Complex Goals & Rules 100% of focus is on the current; what should I do and how? Just Right The balance of goals Abstracting the process & limiting options we reduce cognitive load and reduce the risk of losing information from our working memory. Bite size goals can be correlated to feedback more easily.

Only progress once Mastery has been achieved. By building up a GRADUAL understanding (through FEEDBACK) of how our CHOICES affect the world, reduces load, increases motivation and builds on long term memory... Everything we do requires practice.
There is no easy route to mastery. Our memory is grouped into meaningful relationships These groupings are strengthend the more we use them and the more we can cross reference to other groupings. A difficult concept Affective Experiences Narrative, characters, goals, graphics can all be designed to be emotive. We retain more information when we experience positive emotions The balance of goals, the understanding of choices on the world, rewards (internal and external) all lead to 'fun' Learning is hard work Ideally we need to be in the optimal state to learn Our attention spans are small Game Hooks Narrative
Task progression Unconcious - mid brain Workling Memory Longterm Memory Prefrontal Cortex Mid Brain Focus learners
attention Group information
into achievable goals Introduce new
concepts over
time New material stands
out as you master
the process Think of Flow as the foundation of all learning;
it impacts motivation,learning and enjoyment. Flow is the joy of doing. Behaviours to win the game What the hell was I thinking? You are in the driving seat OR Games are a series of interesting and meaningful choices Recap Recap By building on prior knowledge, through appropriate PACING and FEEDBACK we are reducing the PRIMACY and RECENCY effects
and internalising the knowledge. Recap Recap But what do we know about how we learn and how these laws apply to using games for training? Critical Mass of
Gamer Generation Ease Uptake Not all e-learning was created equally! e-learning
as publishing e-learning as a solution Has a job to do
Relentless to the end Entertainment
Pick up and put down e-learning
as publishing e-learning as a solution 2004 Launch
5.93 million years! Wall Street Journal, 2011 Readiness Primacy Recency Effect Intensity Exercise Reward the action rather than the behaviour which drives the action Retention Choice Recap Correct pacing allows you to draw on existing knowledge Damage motivation External Rewards draw attention away from the inherent satisfaction of the activity. Reward is the
mastery of knowledge Extrinsic Reward The Buzz word of 2011 Narrative Mystery Challenge Ego Gratification Social Games Badges Levels Goal of training is to help us make better choices to be more effective employees Fun is not graphics Intrinsic Reward Concious Brain Temporary Storage, Attentional Focus Chair Legs Seat Back Hard Soft Table Attributes Ergonmic Office Bean Bags Categories Fun Young Painful Emotions Work Eating Practice through replayability but also through the paced goals within an interactive experience No pacing! Helen Routledge
Instructional Design Manager Training e-learning Games Learning Learning & Games Important Feedback ... Choices ... Tasks Acquired Knowledge New
Information Chair Legs Seat Back Hard Soft Table Attributes Ergonmic Office Bean Bags Categories Fun Young Painful Emotions Work Eating Serious Games e-learning Any Questions? Thank You! Linkedin/seriousgamespeople www.pixelearning.wordpress.com @helenroutledge #PIXELearning @axeh Training 18 million users down (21% of total users) Notification System Change Pacing of events frustrates, bores, or hits the sweet spot! @PIXELearning Life The Game of Life Brand Engagement Marketing Career Engagement Training Who Decides? Drives those who are driven by recognition. Not everyone Mass Market Appeal No Mass Market Appeal Measure Learning? Game the system Can we gamify? Using game mechanics
to change behaviour! Goals? Get up! Good Hygiene Environmental Behaviour +10 points! +15 points +5 points +30 points Variable Ratio reward system Meaningful challenge Real Reward Reward Effort Important Have more than one action Keep them guessing & Avoid Predictability! Something of Value, but not money! Reward Spectrum Gamification 80 Million Players! In 2010 Learning the behaviour that will lead to points... Motivators Consequences
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