There are two main approaches to incorporating game play into your course:
⦿ Games Based Learning (‘Serious Games’) are complete games with ‘serious’ intentions. Teachers can utilise pre-existing games or design a game from scratch. These could be card or board games, simulations, point and click games, escape rooms, role playing games or even augmented reality games.
⦿ Gameful design/gamification introduces game play elements to existing learning platforms or content in order to intrinsically motivate and engage the learner.
⦿ Increase student engagement ⦿ Provide instant feedback ⦿ Intrinsically motivate ⦿ Stimulate decision making and problem solving ⦿ Prompt behavioural change ⦿ Contribute to skill development ⦿ Capture complex theoretical concepts and social phenomena ⦿ Encourage application of knowledge ⦿ Help students to learn by doing ⦿ Provide experiential learning
⦿ Agree your learning objectives and the exact time allocated for the game at the start.
⦿ Be realistic about the length of time you have to play in class, especially if there are post game activities.
⦿ Design a game with your objectives and restrictions in mind rather than try to adapt a game to fit.
⦿ Work towards the worst case scenario time-wise and give yourself room to stretch.
⦿ Play-test as much as you can especially with your target audience to ensure that you are on the right track.
⦿ Give yourself an early deadline to stop designing your game. Aim to finish designing the game with sufficient time to create and order game pieces and supporting materials.
At the LSE
‘Game of research’ board game: Kay Inckle, Sociology
Howard-Jones, P., Jay, T., Mason, A. and Jones, H. (2016). Gamification of Learning Deactivates the Default Mode Network. Frontiers in Psychology, [online] 6. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01891 [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].
Moseley, A. (2012). An Alternate Reality for Education?: Lessons to be Learned from Online Immersive Games. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 2(3), pp.32-50.
Many games researchers cite Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory when explaining the power of game play. Flow (also called ‘optimal experience’ or being ‘in the zone’) describes “…the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” http://eweaver.myweb.usf.edu/2002-Flow.pdf