While you may not normally think of video games as an instructional tool, Sink assured games are about "more than collecting gold coins of blowing stuff up." Games have long been implemented for training purposes, such as with military flight simulators or for medical training.
The key to "harnessing play" for educational purposes is integrating the principles that make video games successful: competition, collaboration, leveling and social recognition.
Sink stressed there are four key things to consider when applying game principles:
- What resources do you have?
- How fun does it need to be?
- Who is it for? (Who is the target audience?)
- Where is it delivered? (On the Web? For mobile device?)
Available resources will determine what you can do. According to Sink, developing the average corporate training game costs about $75,000. But if you don't have those kind of resources available, Sink encouraged to be willing to start small. Even something like giving users points for exploring a Web site capitalizes on the concept of leveling and can be "simple, silly, but tremendously effective."
-- Lori Ann Saeki