“The opportunities in mobile gaming are in asynchronous social multi-player games”

Featured Post on Gamasutra (Nov 2012)

Abstract: “It should be clear to anyone that is interested in computer games that the mobile gaming market is growing very fast and, with smartphone penetration still accounting for only 40% in even major markets, that there is room for a lot more growth and for several years still. It is also clear, to anyone who is actually making mobile games, that creating a game that people want to play en masse, let alone pay for (or in) en masse, is extremely hard.

Article link here (HTML, this blog site)

“Where it’s at: An anecdotal look at the stages of games-based learning adoption in the eLearning sector.”

Published on Serious Games Source / Gamasutra (Dec 2006)

Abstract: “Serious Games – to use the rapidly emerging term for the application of computer game and simulation approaches to training and education – is a market space that is currently at the early stages of the Technology Adoption Life Cycle (TALC) but one that is gaining momentum at a pace that often takes even those of us that are in it by surprise. My motivation for penning this article is to attempt to summarise the stages that vendors in this space (and for that matter our clients) are working through to encourage others in both the supply and demand space. It takes, after all, a critical mass to build an enduring industry that is sustainable and which can really push the boundaries of what is possible. “

Article link here (HTML, this blog site)

“Games-based Learning; a serious business application”

(Feb 2006)

Abstract: “Games-based Learning (a.k.a. ‘Serious Games’) is all about leveraging the power of computer games to captivate and engage end-users for a specific purpose such as to develop new knowledge and skills. Games-based Learning enables learners to undertake tasks and experience situations which would otherwise be impossible and/or undesirable for cost, time, logistical and safety reasons. This paper serves to introduce games-based learning, to show the potential benefits of using it and to discuss some of the implementation issues.”

Article link here (PDF, 1.2Mb)

“Computer Games and Gaming Metaphors as Effective Tools for Learning: A Discussion Paper”

(First published 2001)

Abstract: “In my 25 years as a computer and computer games user, my 11 years as a web designer and my 8 years as an eLearning developer, I have used computers and the internet to write a thesis, conduct auctions, buy CD’s, books and other assorted goods, found friends and colleagues, organised my calendar, transferred money, paid bills, sold a motorbike, found well-paid jobs, communicated with people in dozens of countries around the world, created music, created thousands of web pages, solved technical problems, undertaken research, played games, watched TV programmes and lectures, listened to live sport and even found the house that I now live in.

If I need to learn how to use a new software package I start it up and play with it. If I do not understand enough about a programming syntax, or if I want to learn about a particular business topic I search web sites and newsgroups for appropriate information, technical support and user case studies. If my PC fails to operate smoothly, I locate, hints, tips, step-by-step guides, advice and download suitable hardware drivers and operating system patches. The web has become my primary source of knowledge, information retrieval and self-guided learning.

In the same time, I have never completed a computer-based course for my own learning purposes. I find this worrying because I do not believe that I am by any means unique. I believe that this says much about the inappropriateness and ineffectiveness of the pedagogical methodologies that are regularly applied to eLearning instructional design.”

Article link here (PDF, 0.8Mb)

“Demystifying Immersive Learning Simulations – Moving From the Potential to the Practical”

(Jan 2008, The Elearning Guild 360 report; “Immersive Learning Simulations”)

Abstract: “I have been working in the arena of complex computer-based learning games and simulations since the late 1990s. In that time, I have seen that the adoption of computer-based games, and/or simulations for learning (a.k.a. “Serious Games”), has accelerated. This is especially true in the last eighteen months, and has been particularly so in the sector that is relevant to the members of The eLearning Guild: Adult vocational training.

For avoidance of doubt, and for reasons that should become quickly apparent,this essay focuses on the nature of the applications known as Immersive Learning Simulations. It does not cover very-high fidelity, multi-million dollar “serious (computer) games.” Nor does it cover simplistic “millionaire” or “smack a monkey” quizzes used increasingly in an attempt to enhance standard multiple-choice level of interactions.

Despite the marked upsurge in interest, several factors remain which contribute to preventing the wider adoption of what is potentially a wonderful addition to the blended learning solutions arsenal. This essay seeks to identify these factors, and to outline strategies for overcoming them for those of us who work on both the demand and supply side of this still nascent sector of the wider learning technologies market.

In particular, it seeks to overcome the critical issues of:

  • Terminology (understanding what we are actually dealing with);
  • Adoption models (understanding why and how to use simulations and games at a strategic level); and,
  • Design, development, and deployment considerations.

To summarize, this essay serves as a guide for commissioners and customers to assist in making purchasing decisions, and to assist vendors in effectively pitching their service and product offerings”.

Article available through The Elearning Guild web site (subscription may be necessary) – click here for more information

“Learning from the world of video games”

(Learning Magazine, November 2006)

Abstract: “Games-based Learning (GBL) is all about leveraging the power of computer games to captivate and engage end-users for a specific purpose such as to develop new knowledge and skills.

You only have to look at an ‘average gamer’ (early 30s) to see that the videogame industry has mastered the art of using computer technology to captivate its audience. Entertainment games are demonstrably engaging. In comparison when the training industry uses the word ‘engaging’, there is an all too obvious incongruity.”

Article link here (PDF, 0.5 Mb)

“Let the games begin” (featured in)

(by Elizabeth Eyre, Training Journal, Sept 2006)


“Aligning ‘serious games’ to corporate training”

(eLearning Age, March 2008 )

Abstract: “There has been much written about ‘serious games’ or, as I prefer to call them, ‘immersive learning simulations’ (ILSs) over the last year. As with any nascent industry there are always early adopters – characterised by their willingness to embrace innovation – but most organisations tend to be more risk-averse and thus harder to convince. For the wider adoption of ILSs to happen, suppliers and commissioners need to counter the fear of change with coherent designs allied to sound business reasoning. This article seeks to provide some ideas to support this”.

Article link here (PDF, 0.5 Mb)