Children are naturally curious. They want to know things, they ask questions, they go on adventures and they insist on being free to experience the things that catch their attention.
I was such child, then one day I had to begin school. It was a chore, I just did it because the grown ups said I should. Even when things where boring I did them, but badly.
Now that I study cognitive science at Umeå University I still find allot of it hard and stressful. But... Sometimes... It is so incredibly fun that I can sit for hours surfing the web watching youtube videos about neurology, psychology or reading bloggs or news about recent technological advances.
Also, when playing a game I learn so much about that game.
I know that you can repel grenades with a flamethrower in team fortress 2
I know that there is a heart container here somewhere
I know that if I take this route in a racing game I can save some time but I have to be more alert
I know that to defeat this boss I need to do this, then that and this in order to do that, and that to do this.
I even know the names of some bosses and characters and technology in games.
If I would make a game...
Then I would make it just as fun as a regular game. I would just switch the facts. If I make a game containing a boss, this boss could be an angry kid throwing stuff around. In order to beat the boss you have to throw pills at him since he has a neruological disorder. But you have to know what pills to throw and how to diagnose this kid in order to have him survive and calm down.
Instead of having a level where you jump, push boulders and buttons you could have a level where you need to gather some golden letters and place them in the urn in the right order to spell 'democracy'. This would spawn an army that is governed by democracy and if you would spell 'monarchy' you would spawn an army governed by a queen and a king.
I want to choose a subject in school. Maybe neurology, anatomy, psychology, maths or something else. Look at the required knowledge and put this into a game. I want to make it as fun as any good game out there and . I want to use my knowledge about cognition, implement Ebbinghaus learning curve, spaced repetition, linguistics, classical and operational conditioning, all the stuff in neuroscience about memory, long term potentiation and give it all the love I have for the joy of exploring and giving everyone a great opportunity to learn because they are curious.
Instead of making people learn because they think they have to, I want them to give them all the information for free and a freedom to look at what they desire. I truly believe that if you can present information in the right way, the right time and in the right amount, the receiver will be wanting more
This blog is about my journey towards making one educational game that:
Is as fun as any good game out there
Require the gamer to learn real facts in order to advance in the game
Adapts to the gamers level of knowledge so that it is never to much and never to boring. (Regime of competence principle)
I need to know more about making games fun and so far I've gone through 2 years of cognitive science and one course in 'computer games and learning'. In that course we read a book 'What video games teach about learning and literacy' which is totally awesome.
I will have to choose a subject and decide whether I need more people on my side. I don't know much about 3d-modelling, programming so I might try to recruit you.
Also I will have to see if my idea can be funded once I have the idea the game design document ready. Maybe some concept art also.