Papers from ECGBL (part 2)

I’ve been really bad over the past few weeks at keeping the blog up to date, mainly because I’ve had my head down working on my first book (it’s really scary that it’s already being advertised). However, I realise that I’ve neglected the blog a bit so I figure it’s time to take a break from writing and get up to date.

Here’s the second half of a post I started a couple of weeks back, looking at the papers from the European Conference on Games-Based Learning that I found particularly interesting.

Sánchez and colleagues (2008) discuss ‘playability’ as a crucial factor in video games, describing six facets of ‘global playability’:

  • intrinsic playability – the mechanics of design intrinsic to video games (e.g. goals, rules, game mechanics)
  • mechanical playability – the quality of the game as a software system (e.g. sound, graphics, rendering)
  • interactive playability – the methods of player interaction and interface design (e.g. dialogue and game controls)
  • artistic playability – the aesthetics of the artistic elements of the game (e.g. visuals, music, storyline)
  • personal playability – the vision, perceptions and feelings of the person playing the game
  • social playability – the perceptions of the player group when the player plays with others

Each of these facets, they argue, has seven attributes (satisfaction, learning, efficiency, immersion, motivation, emotion and socialisation) and this can be used as a design framework for ensuring playability in educational games.

Sánchez, J. L. G.,  Zea, N. P., Gutiérrez, F. L., Cabrera, M. J. & Rodríguez, P. P. 2008.  Playability: The Secret of the Educational Videogame Design. In Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Games-Based Learning. Barcelona, Spain, 16-17 October 2008.

Zea and colleagues (2008) present guidelines for the development of collaborative games. They say that well-designed collaborative games should foster:

  • positive interdependence – group members must share the same goals, group lifespan, evaluation and score.
  • personal accountability – individual contributions can be identified (but the game should seamlessly support students who may be struggling).
  • face-to-face interaction – game elements (such as reaching consensus) that encourage face-to-face meeting.
  • social skills – activities that support the development of team skills such as leadership, negotiation, and debate.
  • group processing – meta-cognitive group skills and evaluative skills.

Zea, N. P., Sánchez, J. G., Cuevas, C., Vela, F. G. & Rodríguez, P. P. 2008.  Design of Educational Multiplayer Videogames. A Vision From Collaborative Learning. In Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Games-Based Learning. Barcelona, Spain, 16-17 October 2008.

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