As the learning industry moves more and more toward rapid development we are simultaneously trying to push capability in creating more realistic 3D gaming environments. These two ideas seem diametrically opposed, which brings up the question “How can we develop slicker, cooler games cheaper and faster?” Lots of time and discussion can be devoted to solving this problem, but is that time well-spent? is this really a discussion we need to have?
It is tempting to get bogged down in the look and feel of a game, but the power of gaming is not in its hi-res graphics, but rather in the gaming concepts and their applicability to adult learning (ie. the Wii system and Flash games). If you start with a good story you don’t need as much razzle-dazzle to keep people engaged. If you allow learners’ choices to influence how the game unfolds they become immersed. Games are compelling when they are story-based, multi-sensory, intuitive, and tactile. Bottom-line, let’s invest in our talent by thinking like game designers when developing learning tools.