A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 3. Who Plays Games…and Why
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One of the most influential papers to affect modern video game design came from Richard Bartle. His Player Type Model, first described in Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs (1996), transformed how games were designed. Bartle’s observations still reverberate today—especially in gamification’s approach to engagement (adding game elements in spaces that are otherwise not games, such as websites and exercise programs). Bartle graciously granted me an interview, and in it he puts an educational spin on his now famous Player Types Model. Designing games should put the gamers’ experience first and foremost. Shouldn’t learning design do the same? It is as important to understand the work of Bartle when integrating game-based learning as it is to learn about Howard Gardner when planning to teach students using a variety of intelligence modalities.
Much of the current research I found on game design came from behaviorists and designers, not programmers or computer nerds. Game designers Jane McGonigal and Amy Jo Kim, for example, have Ph.D.s in the field of behavioral psychology. It is common for school districts to have a child psychologist and/or a behaviorist on staff. Most of their days are spent with students who exhibit social or emotional problems. It would be unusual for a school to hire a behaviorist to ensure that the general population is having a happy and fulfilling learning experience.
← 45 | 46 → This chapter compares and contrasts intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors as they pertain to student engagement. I...
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