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Dias nummer 1


develop games which contain advanced content, operate according to sound ... Freddi Fish 5: Creature of Cora: Almost on its tenth year. Low Quality. Facts: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dias nummer 1

Designing educational computer game
experiencesPhD student Simon Egenfeldt-NielsenI
T-University CopenhagenGame-research.com15th
October 2004, Graz
develop games which contain advanced content,
operate according to sound pedagogical
principles, enable classroom customisation, and
create real excitement within the core game
market - Henry Jenkins
Masters Degree in Psychology PhD scholar at
IT-University of Copenhagen, Written two Danish
books and several articles on computer games and
learning. Heavily involved in game community
Digra, Game-studies, Game-research, AOIR, DAC,
IGDA Earlier consulting Framfab, Incircle, EQ,
Game-Research. Still consult on computer game
related issues. Reports on eSports, online
gaming, risks in online games, and research on
computer game risks.
Edutainment games that are not!
Edutainment is linear, limited and controlling in
their structure. Underlying learning assumptions
to general and simplified.
  • Problems
  • Learning material is detached from game.
  • Create visual universe but little interaction
    with the gameplay
  • Learning is placed first and unmotivated
  • Small classic games

Picture Chefrens Pyramide
Historical overview
Research in different areas focusing on
educational use of computer games
Instructional technology
Health-related games
Socio-cultural approach
Cognitive skills
Math games
Adventure games
Media education
The market for edutainment
The vicious cycle
Low quality
Small market
Little innovation
Small demand
Limited investment
Little Innovation
  • Facts
  • Oregon Trail remains a best-seller after 20 year.
  • Educational publishers instead of game people.
  • Same target groups, topics, gameplay, and
  • Pre-school Reading, writing, math, spelling.
  • Licenses Disney, Mickey Mouse, Shrek, Garfield
  • Existing brands Putt Putt, Freddie Fish, Reader
    Rabbit, Pajama Sam

Freddi Fish 5 Creature of Cora Almost on its
tenth year.
Low Quality
Facts Average selling price is falling to way
below other game titles (17 Edutainment compared
to 23 for Other PC titles). Few parent or
children feel edutainment titles live up to their
  • The bugs and technical problems are substantial
    especially considering target group.
  • Edutainment Sold on the believed educational
    content not the actual quality of education or
  • Gameplay The same puzzles or classic arcade
    games done in Director.

Pajama Sam 3 Shows the classic tone and set-up
of edutainment
Low demand
  • Local brands with low global penetration
  • Educational traditions quite different worldwide
  • Parents still uncertain towards computer games
    but more critical
  • Lack of distribution channels

Limited investment
  • In summary currently the educational experiences
    computer games can offer children are of few and
    of low quality the market is skeptical and in
  • Few investors is interested in such an area
    other channels most be sought.
  • Research collaborations between industry and
  • Public funding for new teaching material
  • Companies with a philanthropic interest in a

Designing Educational experiences that are
different than edutainment
Ideal set-up The right people
  • Computer games are a modern pursuit requiring a
    lot of different competences even worse when we
    want to design educational experiences.
  • Game Publisher
  • Game Developer
  • Subject Experts
  • Educational Experts
  • Educational Publisher
  • Players for testing
  • Students teachers for testing
  • Deep understanding of both computer games and
    educational questions.
  • Perhaps on overweight on the computer game part.

A full educational experience..
Avoid narrow focus on one area of the
educational experience.
Basic foundation for education
  • Student relevance (Builds engagement and
  • - Linking with experience
  • Autonomy
  • Modality
  • Safety
  • Challenge
  • Educational (requires instruction)
  • - Linking the right experience
  • Points forward desirable direction
  • Support desire to learn
  • Match curriculum

Computer games support these features quite
The linking of these two parts is hard

Computer games do not necessarily support these
features but they may be integrated
Some downsides 1
Learning vs. playing Control is a critical
characteristic in computer games but educating is
potentially different taking control away from
the player The problem of representation is
this play or reality. Can students tell the
difference a different way to learn. Implicit
message that learning is not worth sweating for
but must always be fun. Practical
barriers Lesson plan, curriculum, teacher
training, physical space, learning theories,
teaching forms. The cultural inheritance are
games really educational?
Some downsides 2
Drill-and-practice games vs. microworlds
Edutainment is easier to design based on simpler
and more explicit learning than microworld. What
learning theories should guide the design.
Depth vs. superficiality Computer games in
some cases may not deliver a lot of information
but they deliver what the student can grasp.
Other media may deliver more detailed
information on a given topic but that is of
limited value if the students can only engage
with a minor part.
An example of designing Educational experiences
Global Conflicts an example
Set-up network the right people Build the
framework for project Conflict in the
Middle-East Get funding still looking most
interested in serious collaboration Design
philosophy for the computer game
A control post in game where the player must get
through or hinder other people from getting
Global Conflicts The gameplay
  • Breathing universe modelled close to reality
  • Transfer links Newspapers, TV-spots, radio.
  • Variation in difficulty and complexity.
  • Strong reporting system
  • Personal vs. strategic
  • Avoid aggression
  • Different roles
  • Make education manual
  • New Scenarios

Concept art from the game.
Concluding remarks
A tough market in many ways Difficult to design
educational experience Computer games can bring
engagement to education We are still waiting for
the market to mature.
Thanks for listening
Questions, comments, helping or consulting.
sen_at_itu.dk or sen_at_game-research.com Slides at
Links http//www.game-research.com http//game.it
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