|Solving a puzzle in Uncharted 2 (great game, contains all elements listed below)|
Risk Taking– Good video games lower the consequences of failure; players can start from the last saved game when they fail. In fact, in a game, failure is a good thing. Players actually use failure as way of finding out information with the game. Tom Peters refers to this as "Failing Forward Fast."
Well-Ordered Problems– In good video games, the problems players face are ordered so that the earlier ones are well built to lead players to form hypotheses that work well for later, harder problems. It matters how the problem space is organized and that is why games have levels.
Performance before Competence– Good video games operate by a principle just the reverse of most training modules: performance before competence (Cazden, 1981). Players can perform before they are competent, supported by the design of the game through just-time help and on demand information as well as by clues, hints and contextual interface.
I discuss some of the same concepts, but not in the same depth in Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.
Cazden, C. "Performance before Competence: Assistance to Chidl Discourse in the Zone of Proximal Development." Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition 3.1 (1981): 5-8.
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