Reflection: Creativity and learning for me for personal fulfillment and empowerment in brief, has been about choice, motivation, and engagement with the experience (using multiple pathways)

Course notes:

“According to Burgun (2012, p.24) good design is not a fixed set of rules, but there are four characteristics to consider:

  • Useful. A good design solves some problem – whether that problem was one we know about or not.
  • Beautiful. A good design has a certain kind of beauty to it. This doesn’t have to be a visual beauty; it can be an abstract sort of beauty like that of the rules of Tetris.
  • Easy to use and learn. A good design almost “uses” itself. The user doesn’t struggle and hit brick walls; a great design provides a smooth experience from start to finish.
  • Efficient. A good design does a lot with a little.”

Initial considerations for adapting game design for learning:

  • “The Length of Playtime: How long is does the game last? Will it be pervasive enough to last a semester or will it be a few hours?
  • Number of Players: Does the game support single, cooperative play, or will there be thirty or more players in one space at the same time?
  • Heuristics: What mental shortcuts exist to allow players to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently. These rule-of-thumb strategies shorten decision-making time and allow engagement without constantly stopping to think about their next course of action. What errors or biases might existing heuristics bring to the game?”
    • “… most difficult to determine. To a large extent, heuristics are dependant on player’s prior experiences, beliefs and attitudes. If, for example, some children have played hundreds of hours of Minecraft, then they will bring a set of heuristics that others might not – and these may positively or negativelyinfluence how they play in school or assumptions they might make about why they are playing it in school. Skills and experience from ‘entertainment games’ cannot be assumed to be universally transposable to be used in an educational setting. Some heuristics might not be useful and some children may have limited development of these skills, especially across cultural, economic and gender lines.
    • wise to poll potential learners to gauge their history, experience and attitudes towards games in order to assess what heuristics are likely to emerge in pursuit of educational goals”

Element of uncertainty and indeterminacy

Uncertainty as a characteristic of game design to engage and motivate player – can also be a barrier. Uncertainty is an element of indeterminacy in games i.e. in randomness; luck and skill – Does the problem require new skill or focus to solve the problem? Can the problem be overcome by luck? What is the balance between skill and luck when it comes to solving the problem? Hidden information – hidden objects which contain useful items or rewards – can shift the game direction. Need to consider how determination and uncertainty are applied in the learning context.


Navarrete, C. C. (2013). Creative thinking in digital game design and development: A case study.Computers & Education, 69, 320–331. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2013.07.025