These are the 12 characteristics that make games engaging in the classroom:
- Games are a form of fun. That gives us enjoyment and pleasure.
- Games are form of play. That gives us intense and passionate involvement.
- Games have rules. That gives us structure.
- Games have goals. That gives us motivation.
- Games are interactive. That gives us doing.
- Games are adaptive. That gives us flow.
- Games have outcomes and feedback. That gives us learning.
- Games have win states. That gives us ego gratification.
- Games have conflict/competition/challenge/opposition. That gives us adrenaline.
- Games have problem solving. That sparks our creativity.
- Games have interaction. That gives us social groups.
- Games have representation and story. That gives us emotion
Game based learning allows creation of a world for the learners where they are free to analyze, plan and experience things without any difficulty. Definitely, it provides educators the means to create a representation of the lesson to be taught which is in action and naturally more edutaining unlike normal classroom lecture.
For instance, Teed (2004) suggests that there are several elements that define an activity as a game:
- Competition: Score-keeping element and/or winning conditions motivates players and assesses their performance. Sometimes, players are not necessarily competing against each other. Actually, a lot of games have players working as a team to overcome obstacles built into the game.
- Engagement: Learners get so engrossed into the game that they do not want to stop until the game is over. Researchers term this phenomenon as “intrinsic motivation” and attribute it to four sources namely; challenge, curiosity, control and fantasy.
- Immediate Rewards: Learners get excited when they receive victory or points. Sometimes, even simple or analytical feedback motivates them to play the game once again.
Game based learning has raised the bar when it comes to assisting the learner’s development using novel interactive mediums.
In reality, the combination of instructional design and multimedia has stimulated the creation of exciting gaming environments for engaging the learners with ease.
Learners can play the game multiple times for mastering it and at the same time revise the lesson taught in the game. Retention of the lesson taught is taken care of without any difficulty.