Using the concepts from the course lectures analyse ONE of the serious games listed above in a 2000

Using the concepts from the course lectures analyse ONE of the serious games listed above in a 2000 word essay (+/- 10%).
In order to do this you will need to play the game yourself. Play it first without accessing any additional tutorial or help features other than what occurs in normal gameplay. Then play it again after reading all that is on offer.
Think about:
• How easy was it to learn to play the game?
• How did the game “teach” you how to use it?
• Did you draw on any of your existing knowledge of interactive media the first time you played?
• What game mechanics and dynamics have the game designers designed into this game?
• What kind of player experience does it evoke?
• Identify the ‘serious purpose of the game and critically assess whether it has been successful at achieving this, particularly in light of the audience that it is aimed at.
• Consider also how successful the game is as a game. Would you play it more than once? Does it matter if you wouldnt? Was it engaging?
• Does the game reveal any specific things to do (or not to do) in terms of designing a serious game? What works and what doesnt in this game?
Now write an essay using your analysis of your chosen game to argue your position on the question:
How do you achieve the balance between ‘serious and ‘game in a serious game?
You may reference other games from the list as points of comparison. Due to the relatively short word length you can assume that the reader already understands LeBlancs model of Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics. You can also use tables and/or bullet points to list game mechanics and use screen grabs to illustrate elements of the visual design.
Task Objectives:
This task will encourage you to think critically about the form and content of serious games. You will also develop a deeper and applied understanding of the theories covered in class.
Task Criteria:
• Your ability to critically analyze and interpret the game.
• Evidence of engagement with ideas and practices addressed in the course.
• Evidence of critical thinking beyond mere description.
• Evidence of personal engagement i.e. clarification of the aspects of the game you found useful, or intriguing, or frustrating, or engaging etc and why;
• Generic aspects of scholarly writing i.e. writing style, citation practice, structure.
Learning and Games – Strange bedfellows?
“Anyone who thinks education and entertainment are different doesnt know much about either”
(Marshall McLuhan quoted in Schell 2008:443).
Those of us who approach serious game design from a game perspective rather than an educational perspective are often dismissive of games that can be described by the terms “chocolate coated broccoli” or “stealth learning”. These titles, we would argue, see games as “frothy entertainment that sugar coats the learning to make it invisible or at least more palatable” (Lieberman 2009: 121). Such titles will often use games as rewards for watching/reading/or listening to educational content or will use game-like dynamics to test students and encourage them to memorise information. This perspective creates games that are often not games at all and that are certainly not as fun or motivating as games can be. Games that, you could argue, fail to see the connection between education and entertainment that McLuhan points out above.
There are a lot of educational titles out there that do take the stealth learning approach and sometimes they do result in good learning experiences. Those in the game design community, however, would argue that seeing games merely as sugar-coating for learning is a missed opportunity that promotes shallow or surface learning. They maintain that the stealth learning perspective both underestimates the power of games and fails to take advantage of the real connections between games and deep learning.

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