I have spent the bulk of this week exploring many different sources discussing the different components of serious games. As I sit down to write my initial blog I feel overwhelmed with lots of knowledge about serious games. I must have read five or six articles just today about serious games. Although I am overwhelmed I feel like I can begin to compile a list of common components of serious games. The following is a list of some common components of serious games. I have included sources and justification for each component. This is by no means my final list of components but is merely a start.
(The components are in no particular order)
1. Interactivity “In the context of digital games, interactivity is defined as a game property that allows users to influence the quality and course of events occurring in the game world,” (Klimmt and Vorderen 2007 as cited in Serious Games: Social Change Why They Should Work Ch. 16, Klimmt, Christopher). Additionally, players act and make a decision then the game responds (Gee, James in Good Video Games and Good Learning). “Learner-generated content will be recognized as one of the principle design mechanisms for learners to demonstrate mastery of a game’s learning objectives,” (Derryberry, Anne 2007).
2. Narrative Context/Storyline Serious games should have reasonable, comprehensive, and interesting stories (Klimmt, Christopher, Ch. 16). Serious games should be entertaining, (Derryberry, Anne 2007).
3. Serious games allows transference of new skills to the real world. (Derryberry, Anne, 2007).
4. Purpose “Serious games are designed with the intention of improving some specific aspect of learning, players come with this expectation,” (Derryberry, Anne 2007). “In a nutshell, if a serious game has no impact on the player in a real life context, it misses its pivotal purpose. For this reason, the game’s purpose acts as the driving force that shapes the dynamic and the coherence of the game system as a whole,” (Mitgutsch, K and Alvarado, N).
5. Rules (Including clear goals?)
6. Well-ordered, challenging problems Serious games should order problems so that they build in difficulty and build based on the skill set the student or player has built up over the course of play. (Gee, Good Video Games and Good Learning).
Please feel free to comment or offer suggestions, as I said this is just a start.
Derryberry, Anne. (2007). Serious Games: online games for learning. Retrieved Online January 23, 2014 from https://www.adobe.com/resources/elearning/pdfs/serious_games_wp.pdf
Mitgutsch, Konstantin and Alvarado, Narda. Purposeful by Design? A Serious Game Design Assessment Framework. Retrieved online January 23, 2014 from http://hubscher.org/roland/courses/hf765/readings/p121-mitgutsch.pdf
Klimmt, Christopher. Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects. Serious Games and Social Change Why They (Should) Work, Ch. 16. Retrieved online January 23, 2014 from http://books.google.com/books?id=eGORAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA272&lpg=PA272&dq=crucial+components+of+serious+games&source=bl&ots=1tams3LkXB&sig=ryfqE1m0LhZuzffXACvymkYDqrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rl_jUvWPPNHmoASvyYDgDw&ved=0CGgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=crucial%20components%20of%20serious%20games&f=false
James Paul Gee