MASHUP: Learning Game Design Principles – Web2.0 Adoption

Learning game design principles can foster Web2.0 tool adoption.

Web2.0 tool adoption can foster learning by making games.

It’s a beautiful story.


Recently raised questions about engaging the nonprofit community in using Web2.0 tools may be answered by learning game design principles.   At the very least, learning game design principles and Web2.0 adoption issues have provocative similarities. 


The key Web2.0  “must have” = bring real world value to users. 

Two key questions raised:

  1. how to stimulate imagination

  2. how to trigger inventiveness


Learning game design answers:

Design the “experience” (as opposed to “content”)

     The experience is what player/learners DO in the space.  Designable experiences are: a) knowable, and b) reproducible.  Experience design elements:

  • player/learner-made content (derived from real world experience)

  • collaboratively-made content (access to collective experience, common problems, common solutions)

  • activities (chunked down, small, “doable”); trail by error problem-solving practice opportunities; feedback loops

  • emergent processes for above

  • artifact production and preservation methodologies


     When what player/learners do is CREATE CONTENT, then that content is organically derived from their real world experience, based on the real world problems they want to solve, and the experience of engagement naturally has real world value.  When content is created COLLABORATIVELY, then each player/learner has access to and benefits from the collective intelligence of a community of practice.  Since WE made this stuff ourselves – it will be really useful to each of us.  When we produce and preserve this stuff in the form of a GAME – it is FUN to use!  


Learning game designers have “control” over the tools — let go of the rest.

The “tools” are WHAT the player/learners DO it WITH.  Web2.0 tools are:

  1. designed to foster community of practice collaboration 

  2. designed to facilitate player/learner content creation

  3. designed to enable social construction of knowledge

  4. designed for use, reuse, remix of existing content/knowledge

  5. designed to be out of designer’s control 🙂

     Even how much control designers have or should retain over tools is debatable.  Nevertheless, point is design “tools & rules” to capture an experience strategy — as containers for player/learners to fill.  Throw it out there and see what they/we make of it.  Embrace the chaos.  We shape the experience to be useful for our own purposes.


Are we having fun yet?





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