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Monday, 25 August 2014

Play to Learn

Just Play Along
Educational games are sometimes not very good and a bit cringeworthy, rather like the word used to describe them: 'edutainment' (just typing that word makes me feel slightly uncomfortable).  

This can be because the fun has been compromised for the educational aspect. However, 'gamification' (shudder) is quite popular as a concept, and the goal of an experience which is both educational and enjoyable is truly admirable.

Ominous, eh? 

It's Your Own Time You're Wasting
But what is a game, anyway? Frivolous? Just for kids? A waste of time? 

Sid Meier said in 2000 that a game is 'a series of interesting choices'. This is my favourite definition of the word, and the one that I find gets the best reaction from non-gamers.

The best presentations should have the same level of engagement as a game, requiring input that has interesting results. 

Power(pill)Point*
A completely passive presentation can fail to engage, but an interactive presentation means that the audience will retain a far greater amount of the information and message. 

If whoever gives the next presentation that you see isn't asking for your input, then ask something challenging and see how they react. Do they adapt? Did it improve the experience for the rest of the audience? Does it prompt other people to ask questions? 

Challenge what you've been shown, and create some interaction. It's the very least you and the rest of the audience deserve.

*You simply won't find a better Pac-Man presentation reference than that.

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Think Like Them
Do. Your. Prep.
Your Audience are Like Children