Thursday, October 21, 2004

Serious Games - Jim Dunnigan 

All presentation slideshows will be available online within a few days at http://www.seriousgamessummit.com/. Most of them are simply spectacular. Enjoy.

Jim Dunnigan’s keynote can be resumed with a quote:

A lot of people like games but not many know how to make them.

Dunnigan is an advocate of operational research, which seeks to rationalize through dissection in a very Cartesian way. Therefore, his approach to serious gaming is to work very hard on analyzing a learning need or gap to the extreme and then provide an appropriate tool that fulfills the analyzed gap. It’s an oversimplification in my view. Being able to dissect an infinite number of infinitesimal sub components does not necessarily teach us much about a complex system. Even worse, it creates the illusion that we actually know what is happening. There were anyhow some pearls in this talk:

Keep the goal in mind. What is the system doing for you?

Don’t bother coding, buy (or reuse?) off-the-shelf

Design for addiction, even when you have to deal with boring stuff

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