Creating Flow, Motivation, and Fun in Learning Games

Direct Link To Paper: Creating Flow, Motivation, and Fun in Learning Games.  (PS – some external sites do not like direct links to a PDF format, so I used this blog post instead).

In a 2010 Ted conference, Ali Car-Chellman offered this harsh criticism: “Most of the educational games that are out there today are really flash-cards. They are glorified drill-and-practice. They don’t have the depth and rich narrative that really engaging video games have” (Car-Chellman, 2010). She concludes with this challenge: “We need to design better games.” This chapter will address her challenge.

The chapter was written by 4 game developers: two from entertainment (Michael Guerrero, Kerry Moffitt) and two from learning games (Curtiss Murphy, Dustin Chertoff). This chapter is part of the book, The Design and Development of Training Games, which is in the final-final stages of preparation and should be published later this year.

Topics include:

  • Flow – overview and use in games
  • Tasks – explicit, implicit, and player driven
  • Feedback
  • Balancing Difficulty with Skill
  • Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment
  • Simplicity
  • Paradox of Choice
  • Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
  • Control, Baseline Rewards, and Achievements
  • Scarcity
  • Zeigarnik Effect
  • Experiential Design
  • Types of Fun
  • Fun in the Rules
  • Presence

The chapter is made available with permission of Cambridge University Press and the authors.

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Bits Pilani Dubai
Bits Pilani Dubai

Just thought of sharing,one of the Ted show viewer posted this "After being frustrated with the 'system' I signed up to World of Warcraft, played the game with my son, then aged 11. He decided that to play the game, he needed to read - so he now reads. His reading skipped from a 'PM level' of 17 up to 27 in the 6 months it took for me to level a character from 0 - 80 in 2010. Now, three years later, we've used World of Warcraft to explain to my son, who has Asperger syndrome, the finer points of the 'invisible social curriculum'. We've coached him through, making friends, keeping friends, not being afraid to be himself. We celebrate his learning to read with comprehension, write meaningfully (and text-speek) and engage in problem-solving that is now transferring into his high-school assignments. Just as he surfs the 'net for 'Let's Plays' he now applies the same skills into his researching for assignments. Meanwhile, between us we have 6 level 90's (5 are mine). Sad? No-way! We connect, we understand each other and we respect each other."


Amazing! This PDF is really packed with useful information.


This is such a great post