One of the points I did not make in the book, and should, is that simulation games can serve not only as a practice environment, but also as an evaluation tool. That is, practice in a simulation can be both formative, allowing learners to check their ability, and summative, in that these games can be instrumented to report practice back to a learning management system. Given that random experiences are to be desired, one has to be careful to control the experience by guaranteeing (read: programming) certain contingencies or occurrences, or having canned sequences when used as a test, but there are creative ways to ensure appropriate controls when using simulations as evaluation tools.

Check out Rob Moser's Ph.D. thesis:
A methodology for the design of educational computer adventure games, as well. Extended my work prior to the book, with deep analysis.

Ongoing notes about games are now posted in my
blog under the ‘games’ category.


The original Quest game was designed to help kids learn to live independently. Originally programmed in HyperCard, it was subsequently ported to the web. While using old technology (CGI), it's playable and still features the original design.

The project management linear scenario in Case Study 3 led to a subsequent project doing a full game (on the same topic!). The
Project Management game was the result.

Serious Games page at Wikipedia has a list of examples with links.

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A brainstorming guide.

SME Questionnaire guide.

Concept Document template.

Storyboard template.

A learning game
design checklist.

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The Federation of American Scientists, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and Entertainment Software Association, held a summit on games, the output of which has been created as a site.

article on the controversy surrounding games for learning. Steven Downes cites Bill Brandon's nice take on it: "Good grief. Can people possibly learn as a result of playing a game? Of course. Can people learn as a result of playing any game? Of course not. If a game is designed to be an environment for learning, people can learn from it if it's a good design. If a game is designed to be an environment for entertainment, people will learn to play the game but not much else. If a game is designed to 'teach' (i.e., to deliver canonical outcomes), nobody should expect far transfer from it."

A great
article on the implications of Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey for game design.

The eminent Thiagi's
Laws of Learning.

Roger Schank & Chip Cleary's
Engines For Education hyperbook.

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Education Arcade - Henry Jenkins and (ex-) MIT folks

Serious Games

North American Simulation And Gaming Association

WaterCooler Games - games with an agenda

Gamasutra - game developer site (where you can find Earnest Adam's excellent Designer's Notebook columns

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Image from book cover