你或许认为根据定义，在线学习过程也算游戏。但更深入探究你会发现其实并非如此。我通常把在线学习过程描述成“我们获得解决方案，请仔细阅读，而非‘有待解决的问题’”。Cathy Moore凭借其杰出“Action Mapping”解决方案在该领域颇有威望，所以若你遵照他提出的建议，定能有所建树。
故事是游戏存在的载体，是有待解决的问题。存在问题需足够复杂，能够构成故事，需能够吸引用户注意力。就拿《Health & Safety》内容来说，之前的《H&S》课程或许有些无聊，内容啰嗦，纯粹是普通常识，堪称信息垃圾场。把这个理念应用至该课程中，以新的游戏化内容开始课程：拯救生命。现在内容就变得有趣。
The 4 pillars of Gamification
By Ben Betts
I’m often challenged on what qualifies as a ‘game’. My favourite definition of a game comes from game design guru Jesse Schell who said that “a game is a problem solving activity, approached with a playful attitude”. That’s a pretty broad brush, but I don’t think you can actually get one much finer. If you start to define a game any further, you tend to run into problems when someone brings you an example of a game that doesn’t fit.
You might be inclined to think that your E-learning probably qualifies as a game by this definition. Dig a little deeper though and you realise that it’s probably not the case. Often, I would suggest, E-learning is presented as ‘we’ve got the solution, now read all about it’, rather than a ‘problem to be solved’. Cathy Moore builds on this area with her brilliant Action Mapping technique, so if you follow her sage advice, you might be getting somewhere.
How often is our E-learning approached with a playful attitude? This doesn’t involve sticking a quirky piece of clip art at the top of the screen. What it does involve is evoking a sense of playfulness in your learners; an ability to try things out, to experiment and to fail safely. Often our E-learning is so linear and so push in nature that there is very little scope to ‘play’ with it – it is to be worked through, not played with.
So if we’re a little bit away from meeting the definition in most of our current E-learning offerings, what can we do to change this? How can we gamify our E-learning? Building further on Jesse Schell’s work, there are four key areas to a games design. Schell calls them Aesthetics, Story, Mechanics and Technology.
A game is only a game because it looks like a game, right? Wrong!
Games come in many different forms. What they do is to make use of the aesthetics in unique and interesting ways. For instance, Call of Duty is noted for its ultra-realistic graphics and it’s a best-selling franchise. But Mafia Wars is one of the most popular games of recent times and its browser based – mostly text. You don’t have to build a 3D world to make a game, you just have to make use of aesthetics that suit the style of gameplay you want to facilitate. Mafia Wars is all about information and the best way to display that is with a text interface.
Sure, you could take your induction programme and put it into Second Life. That would make it look like a computer game, but it wouldn’t be enough to meet our definition of a game. More often than not, Aesthetics help to encourage playfulness, if for no other reason than to make something ‘look like a game’. But they aren’t enough to make something a game in and of itself. Taking this further, it is important to realise that aesthetics aren’t just about visual appearance. We’re talking about engaging all of the sense here; think sound, think touch.
In short, aesthetics will influence a sense of playfulness, but you don’t have to make a 3D virtual world to make a game.
For me, one of the most oft overlooked areas of gamification is the story. Games allow us to take part in stories and influence the outcome. The story is the making or the breaking of the game and allows you to answer the question, would you want to play this game? If not, you’ve got a problem.
Typically we would expect a games story to have something of the Epic in its nature. Games give us the opportunity to do something which we couldn’t normally do in real-life. This doesn’t need to go into the world of complete fantasy (although it often does). Increasingly games are becoming more appealing because of their links into real-life – think of Facebook’s social games where you compete against your real-life friends.
The story is your games reason for being, your problem to be solved. Your problem needs to be big enough to warrant a story and it needs to appeal to people’s curiosity. Take Health & Safety for example. Previously your H&S course might have been somewhat dull; a preachy, common sense, information dump. Throw that idea in the trash and start with a new, gamified premise: the quest to save a life. Now that’s interesting.
Mechanics are the bits and pieces that most people would consider the tools they need to “gamify” an experience. Game Mechanics refer to the mechanisms by which the game itself works, be that points, levels, cash, badges or whatever. They are also the measure by which we ‘win’. Of course, these are important, but they are not the be all and end all of a game.
There abounds a level of confusion about mechanics and their presence as an intrinsic or extrinsic motivator. When they are tied implicitly into a game and hold only an endogenic value, they can be seen as a part of the intrinsic motivation mechanism. When I say ‘endogenic value’, what I’m referring to is something which holds great value inside the game, but none outside it. Monopoly money is the classic example. When you are playing the game, gameogre.com money is vital. When you aren’t playing Monopoly you couldn’t care less about it.
Achieving badges within a game is an intrinsic mechanic, so long as there remains an endogenic value for them. If the badges are of no significance within the game and are solely used as a basis to reward behaviour outside of the game, then they have become an extrinsic motivator and have no real place in your gamified learning. Now people are playing the game to reach some external goal, they are going to start losing interest in the game itself.
Be careful with your mechanics and don’t let anyone use them as a basis to extrinsically reward behaviour. Mechanics help a player to evaluate their competence within the game environment. Don’t be tricked into using the same measures to evaluate their competence in real-life.
All games have a foundation in technology, they just use it differently. Some games require no more technology than a pencil and paper. Others require innovative and new technology to be implemented. How you use technology will play into both the ability of your players to “solve” problems and also the attitude with which they approach the experience.
Deploying your solution on an X-Box is an obvious path to getting people thinking about the experience in a playful attitude – it is on a games console, therefore it is a game. Apps for smartphones are a nice middle ground for this; less formal than the LMS, but more flexible than a games console. But it might be that a pencil and paper is enough technology for your game to work.
What is important is that your technology allows for sufficient participation for players to influence the outcome. If players can’t interact with either the system or other players, then your technology is going to fail you. Social Learning platforms have a big role to play here as both systems of consumption and contribution.
Games come in many forms
Often, people are quick to judge what qualifies as a game based on just one of these pillars. But the pillars in isolation are really never enough to qualify as a game. It is the combination that brings the true game experience.
Whilst we lack a grand unified theory of ‘games’, gamification will be a difficult concept to get your head around. However, it is safe to assume that gamification requires an appreciation of all 4 pillars. Without this appreciation, it seems likely that your new gamified learning experience won’t be as well received as it might be.
Use endogenic mechanics, a compelling storyline, suitable aesthetics and the most appropriate technology to gamify your learning and you’ll be off to a good start. Slapping a badge on it and calling it a game simply will not suffice!（Source：ht2）