Monday, July 14, 2003

Digital Kids, Games and Instructional Design

The Impact of Digital Games in Education
Russ and I got into a discussion this morning about the overlap between instructional design and game design -- then this link showed up on elearningpost today. Don't you love when that happens?

I don't have time to read the whole thing right now, but I'll have to come back for the full meal deal. A quick skim revealed some gems, though, and it's right in the area I'm considering for my thesis next year.

Clearly, in the analysis of the designs of commercial products, market considerations are a major factor. One very important difference between educational software and video games is the type of buyer, that is, the person who selects the material. Educational software is chosen by adults: Teachers and parents. So manufacturers and retailers stress the fact that the products are ideally suited to application in the school curriculum.

I've been stuck on that point regularly when pondering a game-like career-planning application. If it focuses on curriculum, it's unlikely to actually appeal to kids. If it really gets the kids involved, it's way less likely to appeal to the educational purchasers, unless the "results" of using the system are truly fantastic. Lots to think about here.

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