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Game mechanics are defined as, “constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction with the game state, thus providing gameplay.” While all games use some type of mechanics, styles and theories vary as to their significance to the game.
In simpler terms, game mechanics are “the rules and procedures that guide the player and the game’s response to the player’s moves or actions.” The game designer defines how the game will work for the people who play it.
As game-based learning changes and evolves, elearning providers have to keep up with the latest innovations in their field. While gamification doesn’t require a designer to go as deeply into the game mechanics as a different type of game designer would have to do, there are still core mechanics at work.
Game mechanics are what brings fun into a game. They are also the conduit for learning. The mechanics should never be complicated enough that they take away from the learning experience. For example, if a game is too difficult and has too much extraneous action going on, the objective is lost and the player can become confused, frustrated, and eventually give up.
As elearning providers strive to develop learning games that are effective, they must consider motivation as it’s the key to keeping learners engaged. It’s wise to use a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in order to reach as many learning styles and personalities as possible. Some learners thrive on internal rewards, while others are very motivated by external rewards. While intrinsic rewards lead to a more comprehensive, lasting level of knowledge attainment, extrinsic rewards are still valuable.
Here are some examples of motivators that will enhance the educational value of elearning activities:
Keeping these elements of a well-developed learning game in mind ensures that elearning providers are designing experiences that effectively change the workplace, and how employees are educated for the better.