GBL Picks: Curated Game Based Learning Resources


The Knowledge Guru team is obviously very interested in the future of game based learning, and right now that future is bright. But not everyone is as informed about the industry. We are setting out to change that. We’re on a mission to educate the Instructional Design community and the decision makers in Training and Development about game based learning and its true potential.

As part of that mission we’re bringing you GBL picks, a series of curated resources on game based learning and gamification. We’ll explain why each resource is important and how the information in them can be used to shape opinions on game based learning. So now, without further ado, here are this week’s GBL picks:

Pick #1:

A New Perspective on the Bartle Player Types for Gamification

This is a great post because it briefly introduces Dr. Richard Bartle’s model for player types, and then expands upon it, addressing the different types of player from a motivation perspective. His detailed model included 8 types; Griefer, Networker, Politician, Friend, Opportunist, Scientist, Planner and Hacker. From that, the article breaks players into two categories of motivation—intrinsic and extrinsic—and modifies the player types to describe the root of the player’s motivation. Intrinsically motivated user types are: Socialisers, Free Spirits, Achievers, and Philanthropists. Extrinsically motivated user types are: Networkers, Exploiters, Consumers, and Self Seekers. Dive into the full article to see how that all fits together.

Pick #2:

Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design

Cognitive Flow is a psychological concept that describes a heightened level of engagement, a ‘flow’ that you become mentally immerse in. This article introduces you to cognitive flow and shows you four characteristics of tasks that promote it. This is a great article for anyone looking to design learning games because one of the key advantages of games, the reason they are being so widely adopted in training, is engagement. Cognitive flow is something you should definitely stove to achieve with your learning game.

Pick #3:

It Only Takes About 42 Minutes To Learn Algebra With Video Games

This is a great article from Forbes editor Jordan Shapiro (who writes extensively on games for learning) that lays out some hard data gathered from the Washington State Algebra Challenge for K-12 students. As with previous GBL Picks, this article may be about students, but the data it provides is essential for making games a part of the learning culture even at the corporate level. In this challenge, it took an average 41 minutes and 44 seconds for students to master Algebra skills with the DrangonBox app. “Of those students who played at least 1.5 hours, 92.9% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 1 hour, 83.8% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 45 minutes, 73.4% achieved mastery.” These are amazing results, and the reinforce the fact that games can and do teach.