Serious Games and Game-Based learning

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Serious Games and Game-Based learning

Post by marielle » Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:37 pm

(this is a copy of a post made on the use-list)

I attended a seminar today on the theme of serious gaming.
Serious Game @ -- this article is in French only.

Presenters were Olivier Rampnoux, Julien Alvarez, Jean-Pierre Jessel. All members of the European Center of children products.

Very nice talk. Covered
1) Why using video games
2) Classification
3) What kind of objectives
4) Girl Gaming

Some information that came across.

1) Why be interested in games?
- Commercial domain. Market study show that nowadays kids spend more time in front of a console or computer connected to the web than in front of a television. Apparently they spend 3 hours in front of a screen. That's good news for advertising as this means that they have a chance to target a large public at a lower price (TV advertising is really pricey) and with less resistance (TV advertising is not that successful). The concept to check out there is the one of advergaming Advergaming @ wikipedia, Advergaming Catches On

- Education domain. Studies show that students need more interactivity. The good old system whereby they sit and listen to a lecturer doesn't work well with them anymore. They get bored and they don't take much information in. Then the 1 hour format doesn't work well either as their attention span tends to be shorter. In contrast, studies show that positive emotions, like the ones you get when playing help with more efficient memory encoding. Hence the notion of Education Arcade, introduced by the MIT.

2,3) Classification. They have done some *very* nice work there. They created a database to store information about up to 1000 games. They then analysed them to try to understand the different dimensions that characterise a game. What they mentioned during the talk was their analysis of objectives and goals within the game. They came up with 10 major rules, where rules are defined by what you have to do to be allowed to move to the next level. These rules are Answer | Manage | Have luck | shoot | create | block (maintain) | destroy (collect) | position | avoid | move | time | score. Then using these low level rules, they define bigger bricks of metarules. A game that would mix move and avoid as objectives would make up a DRIVER game. A game that would mix shoot and destroy would make a KILLER game, one that would mix manage and create would make a GOD game. Of course, games can count more than one brick. If you take the good old space invader, then you have both the driver and killer components included.

4) Girl Gaming. The big problem, you see is that games then to be written by boys and be most successful with boys. All good when you try to sell to a leisure market. Problem is when you try to do advergaming, failing to engage 50% of your customers is not so good. Then in education, having a product that works only with 50% of the class is not great.

There was a bit of discussion on this topic. Apparently, girls and boys don't use a game in the same way. I go for cliche description now. Girls tend to do as told and carefully, and with a lot of attention, engage in the game. They read every single box of text that appears and they have at heart to do well. They play once. They get a quite high score. Boys just want to have fun. They rush through. Then they discover that they have a score lower than their neighbour, so they get back to the game and try to increase their score.

Girls seem to prefer to play games where they have to think about games. They want to be involved with the game. They also expect to get something out of the game, to be taught something, to acquire some knowledge. They expect content. Boys are more after some direct and simple stimulation. That's more about having fun and then get a score that let you know how well you did.

Another reason of the lack of success of traditional games with girls is the complex devices and set of key combinations being used. Games where controls are a lot simpler (like the last wii console) and where dexterity is not that important seem to have a better success with girls. Some also say to prefer black and white graphics over these new 3D all fancy graphics.

I will be meeting various persons involved in game-based learning or game-making software next week. If you want to be kept within the information loop, let me know.


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Re: Serious Games and Game-Based learning

Post by ukimiku » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:50 pm

Hi Marielle,

it's been two years now that you posted your report, yet I found it very stimulating. Are you still engaged in game-based learning? I would like to learn more about that, would appreciate pointers, and, of course, your interesting reports!


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Re: Serious Games and Game-Based learning

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:25 pm

I haven't seen Marielle around here for a while, but many of the things she outlined are still moving forward under the Serious Games initiative:
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Re: Serious Games and Game-Based learning

Post by ukimiku » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:23 pm

Again, thanks for forwarding me :)

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