Chapter 15Serious Learning Games: Where Rules Rule

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As instructional designers, one of the things we should fear most is creating boring instruction that learners seek to avoid or escape however they can. The very idea of a game seems attractive and energizing, as people engage in games voluntarily—quite the opposite of how they react to another dreary classroom training class or dreadful e-learning course. But games can also consume a lot of the learner's time. And there's the question, Can they really accomplish serious instructional goals?

As with all great creative achievements, it looks to the many designers that one must be born with unusual talents to create successful games or work tirelessly for thousands of hours. When it comes to games, we understand that markets allow corporations to spend extravagant sums to build commercial games just for their entertainment value. They start with multimillion dollar budgets, then search out top talent, outfit them with the latest and most powerful hardware and software tools, and set them to work in very un-corporate-like environments. And still they expect only a few of these efforts to achieve great success.

How then can we even contemplate creating instructional games with essentially no time to develop our game design skills and relatively minuscule budgets?

This chapter reveals the fundamental components of successful games, ...

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