Game ON! part III

In some ways the last three elements are the most connected to learning.

gtk_edit9. Skills

This element is straightforward. What do you want the students to do better? Design the challenges around that skill set. The challenges can be “quizzes” but think outside the box. What activities can the students do outside the classroom?

10. Meaningful Choices

I am going to quote an article by Brice Morrison, editor of game design and education site The Game Prodigy.

“Meaningful choice requires the following four components:

  1. Awareness – The player must be somewhat aware they are making a choice (perceive options)
  2. Gameplay Consequences – The choice must have consequences that are both gameplay and aesthetically oriented
  3. Reminders – The player must be reminded of the choice they made after they made it
  4. Permanence – The player cannot go back and undo their choice after exploring the consequences”

This may be the hardest element to infuse when trying to gamify a unit of study. Mostly because school is not set up for choice. A unit of study is not set up for choice. Students have to take the vocabulary test, they have to write an essay, they have to meet the standard.

But choice doesn’t have to be complicated. Even if there are just a few options in the game, it connects back to the idea of being in control. Which is one of the reasons games work.

11. Failure / Death / Replay

quick_restartJust like choice, school is not set up to hit the restart button. Or to fail. Or to start from a checkpoint. Or even to play again, even though you did well.

In some ways I think this option is the most powerful element. Consider the first time you tried to learn to play your favorite game… maybe it was chess, or Call of Duty, or 3-point Pitch. There was frustration, confusion, and maybe even a desire to quit.

Now think about how much time you have spent playing that game, even though you have succeeded at the game. This is what true learning is about. Being frustrated, but enjoying the experience so much that you work through the frustration to reach a level of mastery. But also, to continue learning, to comeback to the joy of the experience. Be it a game, book, or even a math problem.

Thank you for reading. If you have any ideas or questions, feel free to contact me through the comments or through Twitter.


About jboelhower

I am a husband and a father. I have been in the field of education for over 20 years.
This entry was posted in Lesson Plan, School and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Game ON! part III

  1. Thanks for this very insightful and eye-opening post!


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