Week 2 Reflection: Components of Serious Games

As I reflect on this week’s blog posting I find myself feeling more confident with some concepts and less confident with others.  To most people this probably doesn’t make much sense so I should probably explain why.  First, there are so many different “good” components that our class has mentioned as Thomas pointed out.  Also, Scott made a really good point that many of these components can be grouped to do that.  This is where the confusion comes into play for me, when I try to group different components I become confused by which components to group together.  For instance, Scott pointed out that interactivity can include hierarchical thinking and risk taking.  So, on our wiki for group three I included well-organized, risk oriented problem solving as one component.  I had listed interactivity as a separate component originally, but since interactivity is “defined as a game property that allows users to influence the quality and course of events occurring in the game world,” then I would agree with Scott that interactivity could be grouped with “well-organized, risk oriented problem solving”.  Then Donna pointed out that interactivity is a better term than collaboration, which I completely agree with as well.  This is where I am confused.  Is interactivity, as defined in digital gaming, more closely linked with collaboration or problem solving?


I have spent quite a bit of time reading through the comments on the wiki and trying to come up with components that follow our group’s criteria.  This is a very difficult task because all of the ideas are great ideas.  It is hard to weed out what is crucial and what I feel should go into the list of components.  Sometimes what I want may not be what the group feels are good components.

I contributed to Gary’s page by suggesting the possibility of combining some components.  For example I mentioned maybe grouping motivation and engagement into one component.  I found an interesting literature review that discussed motivation and engagement.  In the article Floryan states, “The theory is that student motivation will rise when the sense of freedom within a game is increased.  This is because students can quickly judge how much there is to discover within a system.  When they detect a vast and interesting world, they wish to explore it, and freedom within a game allows them to do just that,” (2009).  I then asked Gary if maybe we should be exploring freedom as a component in serious games since freedom seems to lead to motivation and engagement because students are allowed to explore.

I also commented on Shauana’s blog.  I agreed with Brandi’s commented and also pointed out that  Shauna did touch on the “purpose” of serious games.  Brandi had mentioned that she was able to pull two components from Shauna’s post; I was able to pull the “purpose” as another component Shauna listed.  Shauna quoted Frank (2007) and said that the game…”must take care of the motivational aspect, but must also contribute to the overall serious purpose.”

On Sara H.’s blog I recommended the possibility of considering rules on her list of components.  I stated that rules are everywhere in the real world and if we are truly trying to mimic the real world the students should be used to seeing rules.  I was also to pull the idea of the game having risks from Sara’s blog.

Finally, I did post on Tiffany’s page however I am unable to view what I posted and honestly cannot remember.  (I do not think she has her comments where we can view them).


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