10 lessons learnt in the first ten years of the serious games movement


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10 lessons learnt in the first ten years of the serious games movement. Sports, Games and Learning – a Serious Games Conference. Internationale filmschule koeln, Cologne, Germany. 17th March 2011.

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10 lessons learnt in the first ten years of the serious games movement

  1. 1. 10 lessons learnt in the first ten years of the serious games movement.<br />Sports, Games and Learning Conference<br />Cologne, Germany<br />17th March 2011<br />Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen<br />CEO Serious Games Interactive<br />
  2. 2. My Background<br /><ul><li> MA Psychology
  3. 3. PhD Games & learning
  4. 4. Mixing industry & research</li></ul>Computer games<br /><ul><li> Global Conflicts-series
  5. 5. Playing History-series
  6. 6. +30 games for clients</li></ul>Current Research projects: SIREN, PlayMancer & GaLa<br />
  7. 7. The company<br />Serious Games Interactive (SGI) was founded in 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today also offices in United Kingdom and Vietnam. <br />We develop serious games that contain an inseparable combination of “playing”, “learning” and “story-telling”. <br />We are a cross-disciplinary team of 25 people with strong roots in research. <br />We work with a range of different national and international partners including Amnesty, Kaplan, Unicef, WWF, The Danish National Museum, LEGO, ECHO, and European School Net.<br />
  8. 8. Awards<br />BETT Award (UK) <br />– Secondary educational products 2010.<br />PC ZONE (UK) <br />– Independent Game Award 2007.<br />Danish Game Awards (DK)<br />– Game of the Year 2009 & 2010.<br />Nordic Game (Scandinavia)<br />– Best Nordic Game 2007 & 2008 nominee.<br />Children’s Technology Review (US)<br />- Editors Choice Award 2008.<br />IndieCade (US)<br />- Best Indie Game Nominee 2008 & 2009.<br />
  9. 9. Agenda<br />Section 1: What is it?<br />Section 2: What we know?<br />Section 3: Why it ain’t happening<br />
  10. 10. Game industry growing Fast<br />EUR 15bn<br />EUR 30bn<br />EUR 75bn<br />1990<br />2000<br />2010<br />
  11. 11. We invest 3 Billion hours every week in playing games<br />Everyone…<br />
  12. 12. Why consider games?<br />Games are becoming mainstream – avg. gamer is 33 years old in US and UK. <br />Today games have become an universal language for playing, learning & communicating. <br />Today games are out-growing other popular media in importance.<br />Games are already forecasting the future of learning…<br />
  13. 13. Source: Mr. Toledano<br />
  14. 14. Military<br />Education & training<br />Education & training<br />Museums<br />Healthcare<br />Satirical<br />Corporate training<br />News<br />Politics<br />Schools<br />Being used in most areas<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Agenda<br />Section 1: What is it?<br />Section 2: What we know?<br />Section 3: Why it ain’t happening<br />
  17. 17. Lesson #1: there are different uses<br />Games are a multi-dimensional beast<br />Including games to enrich existing curriculum<br />Making games about relevant curriculum<br />Using games directly to learn curriculum<br />
  18. 18. Lesson #2: many teachers use it<br />Several studies indicate around 60% teachers<br />Very few teachers are dismissing it<br />Adaptation varies with countries<br />Almost all use curriculum games<br />Favourites are still training (math & spelling)<br />Use is almost exclusively in early school years<br />
  19. 19. Lesson #3: need to keep learning<br />Challenge player to use knowledge actively<br />Make learning contents explicit<br />Make integration between learning & playing<br />Focus on learning for both verbs & substantives<br />Debriefing is a pre-requisite for effect<br />
  20. 20. Lesson #4: must keep engagement<br />Real consequences in the game<br />Strong and constant feedback loops<br />Visual attractive on its on turf<br />Maintain relevance and authenticity<br />Use both extrinsic & intrinsic motivation<br />
  21. 21. Lesson #5: building them – keep simple<br />Use standard technology<br />Avoid any solution adding complexity<br />Integrate with existing systems<br />Focus on casual approach<br />Build in SCORM compliance<br />
  22. 22. Lesson #6: how to distribute – few roads<br />Browser-based solutions is a must<br />Channels are still missing<br />Education is more local than global<br />Curriculum differences major obstacle<br />Traditional publishers are not the answer<br />
  23. 23. Lesson #7: barriers often ict not games<br />Computer equipment is not good enough<br />Installation & licensing is difficult<br />Own lacking skills are perceived as barriers<br />
  24. 24. Lesson #8: convince people = show them<br />Get them in front of the games<br />Get into the teacher seminars<br />Create good cases with other teachers<br />Involve teachers in development<br />
  25. 25. Lesson #9: funding is a challenge<br />Funding haphazard and random<br />Support schemes crucical<br />Venture investment limited<br />Schools don’t have the ressources<br />Funding should be cross-border<br />
  26. 26. Lesson #10: but it works<br />Evidence retention is better<br />Indications transfer is better<br />Student more motivated to learn<br />Students feel closer to the content<br />Student perceive they learn more<br />Teacher’s can reach challenged learners<br />
  27. 27. Lessons summary<br />Lesson #1: There are different uses<br />Lesson #2: Many teachers use it<br />Lesson #3: Need to keep learning<br />Lesson #4: Must keep engagement<br />Lesson #5: Building them – keep simple<br />Lesson #6: How to distribute – few roads<br />Lesson #7: Barriers often ict not games<br />Lesson #8: Convince people = show them<br />Lesson #9: Funding is a challenge<br />Lesson #10: But it works<br />
  28. 28. Agenda<br />Section 1: What is it?<br />Section 2: What we know?<br />Section 3: Why it ain’t happening<br />
  29. 29. overview: Diffusion of Innovation<br />Five attributes can explain 49-87% of the variation in adaption of an innovation (Rogers, 2003):<br />Relative advantage: How much is the innovation perceived as being better than what already exists.<br />Compatibility: How well does the innovation match existing norms, values, needs, expectations and previous experiences? <br />Complexity: How easy is the innovation to use and understand for users? <br />Observability: How easy is it to observe the advantages achieved from adapting the innovation? <br />Trialability: How easy is the innovation to try out and experiments with without going all in?<br />
  30. 30. Relative advantage<br />The most important attribute according to Rogers. <br />Studies show motivation is high-scorer with 25% of all teachers adhering to that. <br />Advantages very mix & diffuse. <br />Perceived advantage low on teacher’s priority list<br />
  31. 31. Compability<br />Lots of challenges like lacking game skills, bad fit with educational system and limited capable of evaluating games. <br />Values & beliefs<br />Lots of negative discussion, seems to be wavering in some countries. <br />Teacher role, transformation; need to change their role & habitus to harness game's potential. <br />Previous ideas <br />Games cover a broad spectrum of learning theory, praxis and didactics – some more in line with previous praxis. <br />Actual needs <br />GBL don't really solve top-priority issues like special needs and too little teacher time. <br />Many games for non-core curriculum: demands much preparation time and put new demands on teacher.<br />
  32. 32. Complexity<br />Games are NOT necessarily complex but most teachers perceive them as such.<br />Many games ARE complex: plug-ins, installation, drivers, different genres, interface etc.<br />Seen as dangerous to engage with.<br />
  33. 33. Observability<br />In schools it difficult to observe each other and spread new knowledge. <br />See consequences of the intervention.. could probably not be further away than in school. <br />
  34. 34. Tryability<br />Becoming easier to try out games.<br />But still ‘costly’ with 28 students on 'challenging' machinery. <br />You are trying out a new format, not just new contents like in books/online resources. <br />
  35. 35. Case studies<br />Award-winners, several years in market place, good trials and decent level of graphics. <br />Making History (history)<br />Global Conflict-series (citizenship)<br />Dimension M (math)<br />Marketing and price are not really crucial as that will hinder speed but not really final impact. <br />All companies still struggling. <br />
  36. 36. fit with adaptation criteria<br />Relative Advantage: All are motivational fairing well. Dimension M is a an action game closer to students, and related to curriculum. <br />Compatibility: Share values & beliefs but Dimension M is VERY focused on standards/curriculum. Dimension M closer to the textbook covering breadth rather than depth. Positioned as overall praxis. <br />Complexity; Quite similar but Dimension M is much quicker to overview and then deduce from than especially Making History but also Global Conflicts. Dimension M; cover more with less time-investment.<br />Triability: All do trials quite well through online, but Making History a bit more difficult as a download. <br />Observability: Quite hard with Making History and Global Conflicts. Dimension M ahead with tournament features showcasing existing schools. Assessment also easer with skills-based learning.. <br />
  37. 37. Discussion<br />Do teacher want better learning?<br />Do teachers want more motivated students?<br />A lot don’t..!<br />Just teach the curriculum<br />Use what they already know & use<br />Not put in extensive over-time on ‘hype’<br />Don’t take chances on unreliable technology<br />They simply want to fulfil their job requirements:<br />GBL is often not solving teachers challenges = no adaptation.<br />
  38. 38. Contactdetails<br />Serious Games Interactive<br />Corporate: www.seriousgames.dk<br />Global Conflicts: www.globalconflicts.eu<br />Playing History: www.playinghistory.eu<br />Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen<br />Personal: www.egenfeldt.eu<br />Email: sen@seriousgames.dk<br />