How to Use Game Mechanics and Elements in Learning Games?
Do you want to add games to your training solution set but aren’t sure how to get started? Bottom-Line Performance just published a white paper to help learning professionals integrate games into their training, and create meaningful learning games. It covers the basics involved in game design. There are lots of examples included.
A game’s mechanics are the rules and procedures that guide the player and the game’s response to the player’s moves or actions. Through the mechanics you create, you define how the game is going to work for the people who play it.
Game mechanics contribute to the fun of the game, but they are also a significant part of the learning experience. Overly complicated mechanics can actually hinder learning because the player’s cognitive efforts are focused on understanding and learning the mechanics. The best mechanics link to the learning experience – or at a minimum, don’t distract from it.
Every game has “elements” or features that keep people engaged. Some games have many while others have only a few. The choice of what to include should be deliberate. With learning games, you should consider how each element supports the learning process. There are lots of game elements you can include; this paper describes 12 common elements.
It’s a worthwhile reading for us to learn from the learning game design experience of the Bottom-Line Performance team. Link to download the paper here.