Update: Extra Credits has moved – all the episodes can now be found here:
So, I write about games a lot on this blog, but it isn’t really supposed to be an educational gaming blog specifically.
I think the reason it keeps being about game design is because that’s where I keep seeing interesting specific design recommendations. So much of the stuff written about instructional design recommendations is good, but frequently vague or too general (with a few exceptions like Tom Kuhlman and Cathy Moore), while in the mean time I keep finding really great experience design information in the game design blogs that addresses very specific problems.
The other day, I showed this video about the distinction between choices and calculations to a friend of mine who is a very good and experienced instructional designer (sadly, I can’t get the damn thing to embed, but you can watch it here http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2590-Choice-and-Conflict). Go watch it NOW (seriously, it’s worth it).
My friend was blown away, and his reaction was more or less “Why didn’t I know this?” He and I both have written hundreds of learning scenarios over the years, and the distinction of creating choices vs calculations is probably the single most useful piece of design advice that either of us have encountered (and definitely clarifies some of the things I was thinking about in the post Computers are Dumb — Make Smarter e-Learning) .
About a year ago, I did a post called Best e-Learning Blog that isn’t an e-Learning Blog which was about how much I’ve been learning about instructional design from the game design site http://www.gamasutra.com/.
The Extra Credits series of game design tutorials on the escapist site is definitely my nomination for the Best Instructional Design Videos that Aren’t Instructional Design Videos. There are many that are about the gaming industry that aren’t applicable to instructional design, but in addition to the one above, there are some other gems that are also well worth watching:
- Video Games and Learning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN0qRKjfX3s&feature=related
- Narrative Mechanics: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2545-Narrative-Mechanics