LIVE EVENT BLOG: E-Learning 20-20 Day Two
Welcome to day two of E-Learning 20-20!
What better way to start the day off than with a presentation about ‘Learning From Games’ from Mike Hawkyard and Adrian Smith, from Amuzo.
Mike Hawkyard is the Managing Director of Amuzo, a multi award winning casual game studio based in Bournemouth. Apps created by Amuzo have been played half a billion times on smart devices in the last two years alone. This accounts for well over 6,500 combined years of digital interaction.
Adrian Smith was a co-founder of the development studio Core Design and the Executive Producer of Tomb Raider 1 – 6. Tomb Raider sold more than 60 million units and created the industry’s most iconic female gaming character of all time – Lara Croft.
You can check out Amuzo’s output on their website:http://www.amuzo.com/ It’s very impressive. Star Wars…Lego…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Adrian describes the importance in gaming of connecting with the character. Tomb Raider was the first game to feature a female character. It was a risk as 87% of gamers in the mid-90s were male…but it worked!
So, what makes a game? There are 8 key principles…
1. Fun must come first. Being on an adventure/journey. Push the boundaries of the player’s imagination. Challenge and educate the player in different ways. Learn by trying and failing. Reward players – this motivates them to come back for more.
2. Know your audience. Connect and engage with them. Let users be smart – let them play the game.
3. Current events. The rise of girl power (Posh Spice et al.) and Britpop helped inform the character of Lara Croft – the typification of being British and a strong female role model. Little known fact: she was originally going to be called Lara Cruise but was changed to Croft to sound more British.
4. Pick up and play. A lot’s changed since Lara Croft first came out in the mid-90s. It’s important to now bear in mind how people are playing – on handheld devices. The key is to make the games accessible and set achievable goals that anyone can simply pick up and play.
5. Utilise existing rivalries. In the 90s it was home computer vs console and 3D vs 2D. Tomb Raider was launched with one of the only 3D-compatible graphics cards and it revolutionised the industry.
6. Build a community. Make the games multiplayer and social. Connect them through the game. For Tomb Raider this included exclusive levels, fan-based sites, Lucozade-promotion and, of course, the movies which grossed $430 million.
7. Personalisation. This has changed since the mid-90s. It’s now all about avatars. In 1996 it was about HOW you play the game: to achieve, to explore, to collect.
8. Rewards. If you don’t reward them, you’ll lose them. In games, you learn from dying – try and die, then try again.
All of these principles can be applied to eLearning, says Mike Hawkyard.
To show how these principles can be applied to any game, Mike hosted the Paper Aeroplane challenge!
Knowing the importance of Rewards, we treated each participant to some delicious Unicorn fudge!
Give people rules and let them interpret it how they want. People will always, always try and cheat a game. People want to have fun in their own way.
Even if you want to capture data from people, don’t ask them to enter their details before playing. Fun should always come first. Once you’ve engaged them and they’ve played, let them know the fun can continue if they sign up.
It’s known as a game loop. Let them play, earn peanuts, spend peanuts. Next time you go round that game loop, add in some interaction (e.g. like us on Facebook!).
Prizes and motivation are key to both gaming and eLearning. People are naturally competitive – use that as the motivation.
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Following a break for tea – quite fitting as we’re at the home of cricket – it’s time for the breakout sessions. A chance to discuss:
- Building gaming principles into your eLearning
- Migrating to mobile
- Performance support: chunking and JIT delivery
- Gamification in a compliance context
Here we are discussing games at the Kia Oval and right outside the window is the ultimate scoreboard!
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Post-lunch, Unicorn CEO Peter Phillips starts the second innings with a look at the popularity of gaming and showcases a variety of eLearning courses that utilise gaming elements.
Did you know? 42% of gamers are now female. Times have certainly changed since the mid-90s.
So how do you apply the key principles of gaming to eLearning? What can we learn from games?
Give the learner choices: make them feel in control, allow them to make decisions.
Challenge the learner: people learn better by being thrown in the deep end. People learn by failing.
Measure progress: progress bars
Provide frequent feedback
Using humour: the early days of eLearning were limited from a graphical point of view which meant we looked for other ways to introduce entertainment – humour. For example, here’s a blast from Unicorn Training’s past – a Whodunnit-style eLearning course we created in the early 90s.
Adapt to the learner: doing diagnostic tests on learners before they dive into the learning to see what it is they need to be refreshed on.
Peer motivation: turning eLearning social.
Game elements in eLearning include:
- branched case studies
- interactive scenarios
- ‘what if’ exploration
- simulations: these are examples of games that have been around for a very long time
- serious games
The key thing to remember is that eLearning should always be substance with style. Never let the look and feel get in the way or overpower the core reason for the eLearning: to provide a great learning experience.
How to design your own game
Following a Q&A session with Peter and a break for tea – well, we are at the home of cricket! – it’s time for some fun and games. The room splits into small groups for a practical, hands-on breakout session to design and map out a game.
The great news is you can play along at home. Simply follow the stages laid out below and by the end of this blog you’ll have designed your very own game.
Mike Hawkyard from Amuzo sets stage one of the challenge, giving the groups ten minutes to decide:
- What’s your message?
- Who’s your target audience?
- What do you want them to do next?
The laughter in the room certainly suggests each team is fulfilling the first principle of gaming: to have fun!
Stage two involves applying the eight principles of gaming. The challenge is to see how many of them you think you can fit into your concept. Here’s a reminder of what they are:
2. Know your audience
3. Current events
4. Pick up and play
5. Utilise existing rivalries
6. Build a community
And that’s it!
The winning team at the event took home a pair of Google cardboard, Occulus Rift-style glasses.
If you’re playing at home though, it’s just for fun. But that is the first principle of gaming after all!
And that concludes E-Learning 20-20 for this year. A huge thank you to everyone for making this a fantastic event.
All that’s left for us to say is…