Why Your Brain Loves Video Games & The Implications for e-Learning

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Note: these are pretty much the same slides as the Creating Game-Like Engagement Deck, posted for ASTD-TCC 2010 attendees.

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Why Your Brain Loves Video Games & The Implications for e-Learning

  1. 1. Why Your Brain Loves Video Games (and the Implications for E-Learning) ASTD-TCC 2010 Julie Dirksen – November 10, 2010
  2. 2. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Video Game Stare
  3. 3. Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License - From www.gdmag.com/freeyear What’s your budget?
  4. 4. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Halo 3 Sold 8 million copies Take from http://www.bungie.net/images/Games/Halo3/Screenshots/Halo3_Valhalla-3rdperson-01.jpg
  5. 5. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What games do you play? • Adventure / Strategy • Role-playing (RPG) • Multiplayer Online Games (MOG/MMOG) • Sports / Racing Arcade • First Person Shooter (FPS) • Casual Games (Puzzle Games, Tetris, etc.) • Simulations
  6. 6. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What games do you play? • Platforms – Console games (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, Wii) – Online single player games – Online multiplayer games – Other PC or Mac games
  7. 7. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How many of you are using games for learning now?
  8. 8. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Is this “educational gaming?” $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500 $100 $200 $300 $400 $500
  9. 9. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License So what do we do about it? “It may sound trite, but for us educational games are first and foremost games. Whether a bona-fide contest with logical rules and a winning condition, or a Sim City-style sandbox playtoy, a game experience needs to have certain basic elements to be a meaningful experience for players.” - Eric Zimmerman So, what are those elements?
  10. 10. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 1 Feedback 2 Structure 3 Attention
  11. 11. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 1 Feedback
  12. 12. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Feedback in e-learning: Good Job! You correctly identified Option A as the correct answer. That is correct!
  13. 13. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Let’s play a game
  14. 14. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What types of Feedback did you see?
  15. 15. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Points How games do feedback:
  16. 16. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How games do feedback: Collecting
  17. 17. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How games do feedback: Time
  18. 18. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How games do feedback: Sound
  19. 19. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How games do feedback: Events / Reactions
  20. 20. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Feedback Frequency How often do users get feedback in e- Learning?
  21. 21. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Better than a Skinner Box • Positive Feedback • Negative Feedback • Reward • Punishment
  22. 22. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License • Points can provide greater degree of ambiguity & determine outcomes • Multifaceted feedback (facial expressions, coaching, line graph, thoughts)
  23. 23. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License • Different types of elements to be collected • Motivational element • Tracking progress • Completion
  24. 24. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Special Collecting: The Power-up Power-ups: Improves the abilities of the player
  25. 25. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What I really find interesting: • Gameify!
  26. 26. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 2 Structure
  27. 27. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License The boss prize of e-learning • Familiarization • Comprehension • Conscious Effort • Conscious Action • Proficiency • Unconscious Competence - From Electronic Performance Support Systems by Gloria Gery
  28. 28. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Cycles of Expertise • Principle: Expertise is formed in any area by repeated cycles of learners practicing skills until they are nearly automatic, then having those skills fail in ways that cause the learners to have to think again and learn anew... • Games: Good games create and support the cycle of expertise...This is, in fact, part of what constitutes good pacing in a game. - James Paul Gee
  29. 29. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How games do feedback: Leveling
  30. 30. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Leveling • If you are not proficient enough, you don’t move on until you are proficient. • Completion = proficiency
  31. 31. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License So, can we just put more levels into e-Learning? Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Module 6 TEST TEST TEST TEST TEST What does this get us?
  32. 32. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What’s happening in the brain?
  33. 33. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What is going on when you are learning something new? Well, areas like your frontal cortex gets busy. It starts burning a lot of fuel, and fills up pretty quickly.
  34. 34. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What is going on when you using a regular pattern you already know? That leverages parts of the brain that can run without a lot of conscious attention.
  35. 35. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Glucose Metabolic Rate after several weeks of Tetris Practice
  36. 36. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How is most e-Learning structured? Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Module 6 Intro New Info More new Info Even more new Info Yet again with the new info Summary Whew !
  37. 37. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License How are most games structured? Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Some new stuff, pretty easy though Stuff you know plus a bit more Stuff you know, maybe a little faster Stuff you know plus a bit more Stuff you know, kicked up a notch Boss Fight
  38. 38. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License It’s a lot like flow: Challenge Ability - Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  39. 39. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License It also allows you to pay attention to what’s different. In this model, everything is new and everything is important (so nothing is). Whew !
  40. 40. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License It also allows you to pay attention to what’s different. In this model, the new material is mixed in with existing stuff, so the new material stands out. Whew !
  41. 41. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License We all need a rest sometimes: If you don’t give people a break, they will take it anyway. Okay, I get it Uh huh. Uh huh... Wait, this is important Whew ! Brain dead, leaking out the ears Tuned out Kind of distracted
  42. 42. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Goals, Goals and Goals • Immediate, Short-term and Long-term goals
  43. 43. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Goals in Diner Dash • Immediate Goal – Task / Level • Short-term Goal – Stage • Long-term Goal – Game Completion
  44. 44. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
  45. 45. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
  46. 46. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Long-term Goal: The boss fight When you put all the skills you’ve learned together to beat the BOSS.
  47. 47. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License The boss fight “On the boss fight, you are ready to fail 5-6 times until you get it. If I get a boss on the 1st try, I think it’s too easy.” - MS Hunter
  48. 48. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License • Examples: Dialog Coach http://www.dialogcoach.com
  49. 49. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Leveling http://www.dialogcoach.com • Intermittent goals and overall goal • Variable mastery of levels • Gradual improvement of skills
  50. 50. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Evaluation is hard:
  51. 51. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What if completion was enough?
  52. 52. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3 Attention
  53. 53. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Why are brains like elephants? • Why is our brain like a child riding an elephant? Jonathan Haidt – The Happiness Hypothesis
  54. 54. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Child = conscious mind / executive function (prefrontal cortex)
  55. 55. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Elephant = everything else
  56. 56. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Sometimes the elephant is willing
  57. 57. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Other times...
  58. 58. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License So, how do you train the elephant?
  59. 59. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What are you using here? • How many people have had to take the written drivers test lately? Right of Way and Yielding Right-of-way and yielding laws help traffic flow smoothly and safely. They are based on courtesy and common sense. Violation of these laws is a leading cause of traffic crashes. When two vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, and there is no traffic light or signal, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. -Minnesota Driver’s Manual • Think about how that feels.
  60. 60. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Now, how about this?
  61. 61. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License If there’s no urgency... Most of the burden is on the executive function (e.g. frontal cortex).
  62. 62. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Learning without urgency: Relying solely on the executive function is like: Gasp!
  63. 63. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What happens when there is urgency? Mid-brain areas (e.g. limbic system / amygdala are saying: “PAY ATTENTION! This could be important.”
  64. 64. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Learning with urgency: Learning that engages the whole brain requires much less conscious effort:
  65. 65. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What makes it work? • Balanced gameplay – Expectation – Surprise – Reward
  66. 66. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Good surprises are good • Pleasant surprises cause a dopamine spike “PAY ATTENTION! If this is good, then you want more.
  67. 67. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Even bad surprises are good • Unpleasant surprises cause a dopamine drop. “PAY ATTENTION! This is bad. Avoid in future.”
  68. 68. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License No surprises are bad Hmm. I wonder what I should have for dinner...
  69. 69. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Games do this well Gold Coin Gold Coin Gold Coin Gold Coin Super Platinum Hammer of Death™ that lets you SQUASH evildoers!!!
  70. 70. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What else?
  71. 71. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Narrative & Character
  72. 72. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
  73. 73. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Visual & Sound Effects
  74. 74. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Customization /Personalization
  75. 75. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Competition Leader Boards
  76. 76. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Now you try! • It’s your turn to try this out… – Points – Leveling – Collecting – Time – Surprise – Reward – Urgency
  77. 77. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License So what’s the catch? • So this is all great, but what’s the catch?
  78. 78. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What’s the catch? • Games are good at teaching you how to play games (not necessarily how to actually do things)
  79. 79. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What’s the catch? Low Budget Fast Easy
  80. 80. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What’s the catch? Low Budget Fast Easy
  81. 81. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License What’s the catch? Gamers are a self- selecting audience
  82. 82. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Playtesting
  83. 83. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Tools • Captivate • SmartBuilder • Quandary • Bravo • Thinking Worlds • Also: See this blog post: • http://www.kaplaneduneering.com/kap pnotes/index.php/2010/09/11-free- game-creation-software-programs/
  84. 84. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Questions? Thanks to: You can also reach me with questions at: • Presentation site : http://www.usablelearning.com/tcc2010.html • Blog: http://usablelearning.wordpress.com • Twitter: http://twitter.com/usablelearning • Email: julie@usablelearning.com
  85. 85. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License References • Books – Electronic Performance Support System by Gloria Gery – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (A reasonable Wikipedia explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) ) – What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee – The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
  86. 86. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License References • Game Articles: – Learning to Play to Learn - Lessons in Educational Game Design by Nick Fortugno & Eric Zimmerman http://www.ericzimmerman.com/texts/learningtoplay.htm - originally published in Gamasutra http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050405/zimmerman_01.shtml (Other publications by Eric Zimmerman http://www.ericzimmerman.com/writings.html) – Behavioral Game Design by John Hopson http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20010427/hopson_01.htm – Proof of Learning: Assessment in Serious Games by Sande Chen http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051019/chen_01.shtml – Learning by Design: Games as Learning Machines by James Paul Gee http://www.gamasutra.com/gdc2004/features/20040324/gee_01.shtml – Your Brain on Video Games by Steven Johnson http://discovermagazine.com/2005/jul/brain-on-video- games/article_print
  87. 87. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License References • General Articles – The Neuroscience of Leadership by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz http://www.strategy- business.com/press/freearticle/06207 – The New Science of Change by Christopher Koch http://www.cio.com/archive/091506/change.html – Hijacking the Brain Circuits With a Nickel Slot Machine by Sandra Blakeslee http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F70A14F7 355B0C7A8DDDAB0894DA404482 (paid access) – Getting past the brain's crap filter Posted by Kathy Sierra on December 22, 2004 on Creating Passionate Users Blog http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2004/w eek52/index.html
  88. 88. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License References • Egghead stuff – Predictability Modulates Human Brain Response to Reward by Gregory S. Berns, Samuel M. McClure, Giuseppe Pagnoni, and P. Read Montague http://www.ccnl.emory.edu/greg/Koolaid_JN_Print.pdf (Other recent publications by Gregory Berns http://www.ccnl.emory.edu/greg/) – When Things Are Better or Worse than Expected: The Medial Frontal Cortex and the Allocation of Processing Resources http://www.hnl.bcm.tmc.edu/articles/JNeuroScience2006PottsMontague.pdf Geoffrey F. Potts, Laura E. Martin, Philip Burton, and P. Read Montague (Other recent publications by Read Montague http://www.hnl.bcm.tmc.edu/faculty.html) – Reward signaling by dopamine neurons by Wolfram Schultz http://www.biopsychiatry.com/dopaminerev.htm – Recent publications by Jonathan Cohen http://www.csbmb.princeton.edu/ncc/jdc.html – Regional glucose metabolic changes after learning a complex visuospatial/motor task: a positron emission tomographic study by Richard J. Haier, Benjamin V. Siegel Jr., Andrew MacLachlan, Eric Soderling, Stephen Lottenberg and Monte S. Buchsbaum http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1617405
  89. 89. is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License References • Games – Diner Dash: http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/dinerdash.jsp – Driver's Ed Game: http://www.mofunzone.com/online_games/driversed.shtml# – Super Collapse 3: http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/collapse3.jsp – Luck Charm Deluxe: http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/luckcharm.jsp – Insaniquarium http://www.shockwave.com – Luxor http://www.shockwave.com – Project ALERT: http://www.projectalert.com

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