Secrets of Amazing Transformational Games

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Workshop talk for Serious Play 2013

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Secrets of Amazing Transformational Games

  1. 1. Secrets of amazing Transformational Games Jesse Schell Serious Play 2013
  2. 2. Step One: Admitting you have a problem.
  3. 3. Game to teach Geography Problems Potential Solutions
  4. 4. Lexica Goal Overview Instill a love of reading Break down barriers to reading Exposure to books and book characters through quests and a rich 3D world Find the right gateway book Access to embedded games that teach reading skills of syntax, vocabulary, a nd spelling Practice reading skills Episodic content to get players talking about game + Content creation and sharing between players Change how reading is perceived
  5. 5. PlayForward: Goal Overview 1. Ability to look at a situation and see sources of potential trouble 2. Ability to envision outcomes and consequences of a situation 3. Ability to refuse others 4. Understanding of relationship between social dynamics & risk taking 5. Exposure to some (limited) factual knowledge 6. Appreciation for delayed gratification (choosing long term goals over short term gains) 7. Understanding of risk - 10% vs 20%; 1 time vs 10 times 8. Creation of a personal aspirational life plan
  6. 6. “Hafta” “Wanna” Slavery Freedom Work Play Efficiency Pleasure
  7. 7. Seven ways games can make me care
  8. 8. 1) Make me care by engaging my curiosity
  9. 9. 2) Make me care by putting my ego on the line
  10. 10. 3) Make me care by connecting with my fantasies
  11. 11. 4) Make me care by getting me to make a plan A plan is a real thing.
  12. 12. 5) Make me care through “completion desire”
  13. 13. 6) Make me care through social pressure
  14. 14. 7) Make me care by letting me break the rules
  15. 15. Seven ways games can induce a transformation
  16. 16. 1) Show a complex relationship
  17. 17. 2) Repetition / Drill
  18. 18. 3) Break down a barrier
  19. 19. 4) Introduce Incidental Material
  20. 20. 5) Put me in “real” contexts
  21. 21. 6) Induce a “teachable moment”
  22. 22. 7) “…the mind cannot ever be quite what it was before.”
  23. 23. Three Common Pitfalls
  24. 24. 1) Bad Transformation Hypothesis It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. -Richard Feynman
  25. 25. 2) Fooling yourself about whether players care
  26. 26. 3) Disconnect between Devs and Partner about scope “minigame” “minigame”
  27. 27. Did it work? 1. “Feels Like It” 2. Anecdotes 3. SME’s say “yes” 4. Informal surveys say“yes” 5. Formal Testing verifies it
  28. 28. Ways To Make Me Care 1. Engage my Curiosity 2. Put My Ego on the Line 3. Connect with My Fantasies 4. Get Me to Make a Plan 5. Engage my Completion Desire 6. Social Pressure 7. Let me Break the Rules Ways to Transform Me 1. Show a Complex Relationship 2. Repetition and Drill 3. Break Down a Barrier 4. Introduce Incidental Material 5. Put me in “Real” Contexts 6. Induce a Teachable Moment 7. Use the Slow Wedge Things that can go wrong 1. Bad Transformation Hypothesis 2. Fooling Yourself About Whether the Players Care 3. Scope Disconnects Between Devs and SMEs
  29. 29. Thanks! Slides: jesseschell.com Twitter: @jesseschell Email: jesse@schellgames.com

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