(I’ld like to look at games and how they engage kids by applying the 7 ways games reward that Tom Chatfield talked about in his TED talk – a condensed list can also be found on his blog – see my previous blog on March 16th, 2012.)

To do that I will look at the spelling bee game on arcademicsskillbuilders.

At the beginning of a game you are told the rules and that you will be playing against other online gamers. Once you click to start you can wait a bit until a game comes up and then just join. It was great fun to imagine playing with real people.

Once finished, you can see your score and compare it to the others in your game. At the bottom you can see high scores.

And a trophy reward for the winner. I guess, it’s not fair that I knew how to type very fast…

Looking at the 7 rules of engagement we can see that:
1. No track record
2. My short term aim is to win on this short-time task
(The aim should be more specific, I would think.)
3. My reward is a trophy!!! Yuhuu….
4. Rapid, clear, frequent feedback! YEP! with hint and all.. given by a lovely bee.
5. Nothing uncertain, nothing surprising.
6. The tool has no awareness of my attention span.
7. High scores coming soon is an indicator that at some point I can compare myself to other people’s scores. Plus, I am playing with others, which is great! Though it is a competition and not as a team or as a fight between any of them. Everyone is doing their own thing, but you can see how fast the others are.

Overall – that makes: + = yes – = no / = almost
1- 2- 3+ 4+ 5- 6- 7+
making 3 out of 7 on this game

PS: Notice, I am not evaluating the learning content here – which I think is great and I highly recommend this website and their games. I am just trying to understand how to look at educational games using the 7 rules of engagement.)

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