Let’s get back to what’s really important: The Price is Right. And more broadly, using games to make testing fun and then using testing to teach things.
Games + assessment is probably as old as school. Gamifying a math quiz is a classic technique, and it’s the same one found in countless trivia games. It’s used by Jeopardy, The Price is Right, and Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What do they know? Do they know things? Let’s find out!
Clearly, it’s a tried and true method to get people interested in what you’re talking about.
But does this sort of game actually teach people anything? People study for Jeopardy content by reading encyclopedias, not playing more Jeopardy. (Again, unless you’re the guy from The Perfect Bid). You can draw people in with a quiz, but it takes more to impart wisdom.
Games that go beyond quizzing are amazing at letting people explore systems. Players can get around in the mud and figure things out for themselves. They can embody different parts of the system and see how their actions affect the whole.
So in thinking about your next game project, ask yourself: Do I want to draw people in and then educate with supplementing materials and conversations? Or do I want to teach directly with this game?
Both are 100% valid answers. Just make sure you match your game type with your true objective.