Video game designing: Storytelling

The astonishing evolution of new learning methods has led to an unstoppable growth of game-based learning, that is, learning through playing. Gamification, with the design of serious games design at the forefront, is the most demanded tool by companies for their corporate training plans. Storytelling is one of the attributes that turn the learning process into something exciting. That’s an unequivocal sign of the expansion of “serious learning.”

Why are serious games so successful?

Focusing on something is difficult. Most of us get easily distracted while working or studying. Just a sound made by our mobile phone, a vibration from any device or a light can break our focus on a task. Well, the game incorporates those attributes to the training for the learning process to become something exciting.

To design and development of serious games and corporate videogames are the new training methods for many organizations worldwide. However, it remains a somewhat difficult concept for some to accept, who are still skeptical. The mere mention of the word “game” or “videogame” raises suspicion and rejection in favor of more traditional teaching approaches.

And yet, serious games have several elements that take advantage of the game while maintaining the professionalism required by a training program. Among these elements are factors such as the content, usability, competitiveness and the story. It’s about the latter that we want to talk today.

The importance of a story

Much of the success of game-based learning comes from the story told by the game, more important than the technical aspects. Gamelearn, world leader in the development of serious games, is very aware of that: behind their serious games on negotiation skills (Merchants) and time management (Triskelion), there are two stories that help students get involved in the learning experience and assimilate the learning content.

In Merchants, the student becomes Carlo Vecchio, a merchant in medieval Venice, who will try to reach agreements with different characters, to become a prosperous merchant. In Triskelion, the player takes the role of Robert Wise, a history teacher looking for clues to find a treasure while he manages his schedule, organizes tasks, attends meetings, etc.

Thanks to the story, the online course becomes addictive and grabs the student’s attention. The ability to retain knowledge is multiplied, as a game creates challenges and allows for practice to learn effectively the lessons in each module. Training videogames or serious games usually have a final goal which encourages the student to go on until the end of the training, whose finalization gives the player a boost in satisfaction, as there is the feeling of learning and goal achieving. Contrary to traditional videogames, the player must achieve success. If not, frustration will cancel any innovative effort to keep the student involved.

In short, videogames are still a novel approach in the world of training and development, but the concept of game-based learning is not new anymore for experts and HR managers from thousands of companies. Game-based learning plays with contents, usability, competitiveness and the strength of a story. The result is a greater involvement and motivation of the students, and by extension a more efficient and valuable training for the development of skills.

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