Compare your own opinion on the importance of these characteristics. If you are currently teaching, try making a short class survey to evaluate what your students think. If you are not teaching, then perhaps ask friends.

What are some of the most important and least important features of games (in their opinion) and which of these could you include and which would you avoid based on your reading of the literature on the subject?

Are there some things that you can’t do at all? What else do you need to understand?

I am going to come back to this reflection, because I would like to gather feedback from at least one of my year 5 classes. I have combined the characteristics mentioned in the course notes and reading below, and highlighted in colour, those I see as important characteristics.  However, I am not a gamer nor using it within my teaching practice, and I am still getting my head around the readings of the literature on the subject. I think also there are so many variations and issues to consider that it is all about the CONTEXT. As the module notes concludes: Fu et al. (2009, p. 111) asserted that “Whether or not a game offers enjoyment to the player is a key factor in determining whether the player will become involved and continue to learn through the game.”


Fu, F.L,, Su, R.C., & Yu, S.C. (2009), EGameFlow: A scale to measure learners’ enjoyment of e-learning games. Computers & Education 52, 101–112.

Wood, R. T. A., Chappell, D., & Davies, M. N. O. (2004). The Structural characteristics of video Games: A psycho-structural analysis. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(1), 1–10

Characteristics of games
Whitton (2009) Jackson & Eklund (2006) Wood, Griffiths, Chappell & Davies (2004) article mod 3.1 reading Coursenotes: Evaluating game & player characteristics
Competition – to best others Balance between challenge of activity and one’s ability Social; Rewards
Challenge – require effort
Exploration – context sensitive environment
Fantasy – make believe environment, characters, or narrative   Background and setting


Character development

Narrative and identity
Goals – explicit aims & objectives Possessing clear goals
Interaction – action will change state of play & generate feedback Receiving feedback
Outcomes – measurable results eg scoring Winning and losing features – points accumulation Rewards and punishments
People – other individuals take part Multiplayer features Social: social utility (voice and chat)

Social information (guilds, clans)

Leaderboards (hall of fame)

Support network features (internet forums, strategy guides)

Safety – no consequences in real world
Having full concentration on task in hand
Sense of being in control Control options – player can control sound, graphics, skill settings, choice of control methods, physical feedback Manipulation and control: User inputs; Save; Player management; uncontrollables
Losing any form of self-consciousness
Sense of time distorted
Undergoing auto-telic experience eg.g goals generated by the person
Sound and Graphics Presentation
Use of humour
Duration (length) of the game Punishments – event frequency; event duration
Rate of play – how quickly a person could get into a game, and rapid absorption
Game dynamic characteristics e.g. type of action while playing e.g. exploration, elements of surprise, fulfilling a quest, skill development, finding things, surviving against the odds, solving  puzzles, shooting, avoiding things, finding bonuses Punishments and rewards; Manipulation and control
Saving the game Manipulation and control