to
what games teach us about learning
Douglas Kiang
@dkiang!
www.kiang.net
Why Games?
Game Dynamics
Classroom Tips
@dkiang!
www.kiang.net
Why Games?
@dkiang!
www.kiang.net
We are born
knowing
how to play.
Games are universal
“Brains like ours alter profoundly to fit the
technologies and practices that surround
them.”
Andy Clark
Director, Cognitiv...
How do we
learn school?
Kids will walk
away from homework
because it is
“too hard”...
Kids will walk
away
from a computer
game...
because
it is “too easy”.
“Work is all that a body is
obliged to do. Play is all
that a body is not obliged
to do.”
Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
games = powerful
motivation
http://loish.deviantart.com/art/Centre-National-du-Jeu-298346476
games = productive
learning
Hold on!
Isn’t that addiction?
5top
most addictive
games
CAUTION
5
4
3
2
1
Know Your Gamer
http://www.flickr.com/photos/37318693@N04/
Bartle Test
of Gamer 
Psychology
?
http://tinyurl.com/bartletestapp
http://tinyurl.com/bartletest
Which would you rather do:
Get to a certain experience level faster than anyone else?
Solve ...
Explorers
Love to “figure out” games
Fun comes from discovery
Collectors of knowledge
and little-known facts
Enjoy teaching...
Seek to improve power and
status
Achievers
Fun comes from points and
leveling up.
Point of playing is to master
the game
E...
Enjoy meaningful social interaction with other players
Socializers
Game is simply a backdrop
Point of playing is to make f...
Also known as “griefers”
Killers
Achievement comes from
another person’s loss
Value knowledge for its
applications
Prize r...
Why Games?
GameDynamics
Reflections
GameDynamics
What it might
look like in the
classroom
Real-life
example
Example
from a
game
1. The Appointment
Dynamic
“Be here at this time, get a prize.”
Game Dynamics
1. The Appointment Dynamic
1. The Appointment Dynamic
1. The Appointment Dynamic
“Fail early, fail often.”
2. Failure DynamicGame Dynamics
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/
5982896437
2. Failure Dynamic
Angry Birds Demo
Create opportunities for
exploration
2. Failure Dynamic
Student Response Systems
2. Failure Dynamic
Game Dynamics
3. Flexibility Dynamic
“Provide multiple paths of
representation.”
Doom (1993)
It hasn’t always been this way...
3. Flexibility Dynamic
Mario 64 (1998)
3. Flexibility Dynamic
Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
3. Flexibility Dynamic
Skyrim (2011)
3. Flexibility Dynamic
3. Flexibility Dynamic
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124455866@N01/24386125
3. Flexibility Dynamic
Neither of these
tells you much about
where you are.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/43132185@N00/71878108
Always see where you are.
Always see where you are going.
Always see the path to get there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/70...
Grade 9
Biology
Biology Honors
Grade 10
Chemistry
Chemistry Honors
Grade 10
Physics
Grade 10
Bio/Geology of Hawaii
Science...
Quarter 1
Data Types
Variables
Quarter 2
Arrays
Lists
Quarter 2
Encapsulation
Quarter 2
Recursion
Independent Project
Quar...
TED Talk: World Peace Game
Preserving an Open-Ended
Process
• Provide lots of resources!
• Provide different paths to the
destination!
• Encourage an...
4. Progression Dynamic
“A soldier will fight long and hard for
a bit of colored ribbon.”!
Napoleon Bonaparte
http://www.flic...
4. Progression Dynamic
Tutorials (scaffolding of content)
Achievements (positive reinforcement)
Badges and Leveling Up (so...
Current ability Ability with support
Outside of current grasp
Vygotsky’s Zone of
Proximal Development
4. Progression Dynam...
level of skill
levelof
challenge
discouraging
boring
F
L
O
W
“working at the point of
struggle”
Mihaly
Csikszentmihályi
4....
4. Progression Dynamic
Tutorials (scaffolding of content)
Achievements (positive reinforcement)
Badges and Leveling Up (social capital)
4. Progre...
Hide and seek
4. Progression Dynamic
4. Progression Dynamic
kiangETT
4. Progression Dynamic
4. Progression Dynamic
Tutorials (scaffolding of content)
Achievements (positive reinforcement)
Badges and Leveling Up (so...
Source: modern8.com
whiny10
10
12
39
10
11 1
2
“Build something you care about.”
5. Construction Dynamic
Punahou Minecraft
Challenge
Create a self-sustaining
community that reinforces trust
among individuals and that
rewards pro-social behavior.
!((a > b) || (c == d))
(a <= b) && (c != d)
DeMorgan’s Laws of Boolean
Algebra
is the same as
Challenge
Build Mr. Kiang’s office.
It must be underwater.
It must be big. It must
incorporate elements
of nature.
3D Printed
Minecraft
Model
In-Game 

Minecraft
Model
Reflections
We are how we play.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/37318693@N04/
Games support critical thinking,
creativity, and safe risk-taking.
Games are a catalyst
for learning.
Getting Started
• Find ways to embed game dynamics in
the structure of your class:!
• Create “events” !
• Encourage low-st...
Slides, links, and resources
www.kiang.net
@dkiangThank

you.
Learning With Games
a two-day workshop with Douglas Kiang
Ha...
embrace the fail wheel
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning
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Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning

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Updated at ISTE 2014! Explore what makes a game addictive, discover the five most addictive games, and learn about the five most powerful game dynamics and how you can use them in your classroom. See video of this presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euE-z_JzTow

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Angry Birds to Minecraft: Game Dynamics and Learning

  1. 1. to what games teach us about learning Douglas Kiang @dkiang! www.kiang.net
  2. 2. Why Games? Game Dynamics Classroom Tips @dkiang! www.kiang.net
  3. 3. Why Games? @dkiang! www.kiang.net
  4. 4. We are born knowing how to play.
  5. 5. Games are universal
  6. 6. “Brains like ours alter profoundly to fit the technologies and practices that surround them.” Andy Clark Director, Cognitive Sciences Program Indiana University
  7. 7. How do we learn school?
  8. 8. Kids will walk away from homework because it is “too hard”...
  9. 9. Kids will walk away from a computer game... because it is “too easy”.
  10. 10. “Work is all that a body is obliged to do. Play is all that a body is not obliged to do.” Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  11. 11. games = powerful motivation http://loish.deviantart.com/art/Centre-National-du-Jeu-298346476 games = productive learning
  12. 12. Hold on! Isn’t that addiction?
  13. 13. 5top most addictive games CAUTION
  14. 14. 5
  15. 15. 4
  16. 16. 3
  17. 17. 2
  18. 18. 1
  19. 19. Know Your Gamer http://www.flickr.com/photos/37318693@N04/
  20. 20. Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology ? http://tinyurl.com/bartletestapp
  21. 21. http://tinyurl.com/bartletest Which would you rather do: Get to a certain experience level faster than anyone else? Solve a riddle no one else has gotten? Previous Next Question 3 of 30
  22. 22. Explorers Love to “figure out” games Fun comes from discovery Collectors of knowledge and little-known facts Enjoy teaching others http://www.flickr.com/photos/ 43132185@N00/
  23. 23. Seek to improve power and status Achievers Fun comes from points and leveling up. Point of playing is to master the game Enjoy recognition of their achievements http://www.flickr.com/photos/ 21957530@N07/
  24. 24. Enjoy meaningful social interaction with other players Socializers Game is simply a backdrop Point of playing is to make friends Enjoy recognition of their followers, contacts, influence
  25. 25. Also known as “griefers” Killers Achievement comes from another person’s loss Value knowledge for its applications Prize reputation and recognition http://www.flickr.com/photos/ 32774510@N00/
  26. 26. Why Games? GameDynamics Reflections
  27. 27. GameDynamics What it might look like in the classroom Real-life example Example from a game
  28. 28. 1. The Appointment Dynamic “Be here at this time, get a prize.” Game Dynamics
  29. 29. 1. The Appointment Dynamic
  30. 30. 1. The Appointment Dynamic
  31. 31. 1. The Appointment Dynamic
  32. 32. “Fail early, fail often.” 2. Failure DynamicGame Dynamics
  33. 33. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/ 5982896437 2. Failure Dynamic
  34. 34. Angry Birds Demo
  35. 35. Create opportunities for exploration 2. Failure Dynamic
  36. 36. Student Response Systems 2. Failure Dynamic
  37. 37. Game Dynamics 3. Flexibility Dynamic “Provide multiple paths of representation.”
  38. 38. Doom (1993) It hasn’t always been this way... 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  39. 39. Mario 64 (1998) 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  40. 40. Grand Theft Auto III (2001) 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  41. 41. Skyrim (2011) 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  42. 42. 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  43. 43. http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124455866@N01/24386125 3. Flexibility Dynamic
  44. 44. Neither of these tells you much about where you are. http://www.flickr.com/photos/43132185@N00/71878108
  45. 45. Always see where you are. Always see where you are going. Always see the path to get there. http://www.flickr.com/photos/70021771@N00/94459791
  46. 46. Grade 9 Biology Biology Honors Grade 10 Chemistry Chemistry Honors Grade 10 Physics Grade 10 Bio/Geology of Hawaii Science Electives Grade 11 AP Biology AP Env. Science Bio/Geology of Hawaii AP Chemistry Physics or Physics Honors AP Physics B Science Electives Grade 11 Bio/Geology of Hawaii Chemistry or ! Chemistry Honors AP Physics B Science Electives Grade 11 Chemistry or ! Chemistry Honors Science Electives Physics or ! Physics Honors Grade 12AP Biology AP Env. Science Bio/Geology of Hawaii Chemistry or Chemistry Honors AP Chemistry Physics or Physics Honors AP Physics B AP Physics C Science Department
  47. 47. Quarter 1 Data Types Variables Quarter 2 Arrays Lists Quarter 2 Encapsulation Quarter 2 Recursion Independent Project Quarter 3 Advanced Data Types Computer Ethics Recursion Advanced Arrays and Lists Encapsulation and Inheritance Advanced Class Design Independent Project Quarter 3 Recursion Arrays! Lists Polymorphism Independent Project Quarter 3 Arrays! Lists Independent Project Inheritance and Polymorphism Quarter 4Advanced Data Types Recursion Computer Ethics Arrays and Lists Data Structures Encapsulation and Inheritance Independent Project Computer Science http://www.flickr.com/photos/12142259@N00/2867502891
  48. 48. TED Talk: World Peace Game
  49. 49. Preserving an Open-Ended Process • Provide lots of resources! • Provide different paths to the destination! • Encourage and reward exploration! • Provide a map! • Create opportunities for collaboration
  50. 50. 4. Progression Dynamic “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”! Napoleon Bonaparte http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelslens/ 2447754116
  51. 51. 4. Progression Dynamic Tutorials (scaffolding of content) Achievements (positive reinforcement) Badges and Leveling Up (social capital)
  52. 52. Current ability Ability with support Outside of current grasp Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development 4. Progression Dynamic
  53. 53. level of skill levelof challenge discouraging boring F L O W “working at the point of struggle” Mihaly Csikszentmihályi 4. Progression Dynamic
  54. 54. 4. Progression Dynamic
  55. 55. Tutorials (scaffolding of content) Achievements (positive reinforcement) Badges and Leveling Up (social capital) 4. Progression Dynamic
  56. 56. Hide and seek 4. Progression Dynamic
  57. 57. 4. Progression Dynamic
  58. 58. kiangETT
  59. 59. 4. Progression Dynamic
  60. 60. 4. Progression Dynamic Tutorials (scaffolding of content) Achievements (positive reinforcement) Badges and Leveling Up (social capital)
  61. 61. Source: modern8.com
  62. 62. whiny10 10 12 39 10 11 1 2
  63. 63. “Build something you care about.” 5. Construction Dynamic
  64. 64. Punahou Minecraft
  65. 65. Challenge Create a self-sustaining community that reinforces trust among individuals and that rewards pro-social behavior.
  66. 66. !((a > b) || (c == d)) (a <= b) && (c != d) DeMorgan’s Laws of Boolean Algebra is the same as
  67. 67. Challenge Build Mr. Kiang’s office. It must be underwater. It must be big. It must incorporate elements of nature.
  68. 68. 3D Printed Minecraft Model In-Game 
 Minecraft Model
  69. 69. Reflections
  70. 70. We are how we play. http://www.flickr.com/photos/37318693@N04/
  71. 71. Games support critical thinking, creativity, and safe risk-taking.
  72. 72. Games are a catalyst for learning.
  73. 73. Getting Started • Find ways to embed game dynamics in the structure of your class:! • Create “events” ! • Encourage low-stakes failure ! • Recognize achievements often! • Create multiple paths to success! • Build something we all care about
  74. 74. Slides, links, and resources www.kiang.net @dkiangThank
 you. Learning With Games a two-day workshop with Douglas Kiang Harvard University, July 24–25 edtechteacher.org/summer
  75. 75. embrace the fail wheel

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