According to EDUCAUSE, educators have the potential to increase engagement, enhance learning, and inspire students to develop competencies and skills through “gameful learning” (2014).
We developed a Harry Potter themed “Knowledge Quest” that involved a dice, two or more players and a linear progression towards the finishing point. Along the way, players can accumulate points by chance, landing on squares that randomly deduct or award points, or alternatively; through a trivia-based “question-time” card that tests a player’s knowledge of the Harry Potter franchise. Rather than winning the game through a crossing of the finish line, the player with the most points collected is awarded “Tri Wizard Champion” and overall winner.
EDUCAUSE proposes that effective educational games “meet a defined learning objective”, whilst also being “engaging and fun” (2014). Whilst the features of our game would embody the latter aspect for many players, it is only relevant for some, as Harry Potter is not a universally appealing franchise. The learning objective of our game is limited to one’s own partiality and understanding of Harry Potter and is thus unlikely to achieve “educational” outcomes. However, as sustained in the reading, game mechanics in learning often “pique motivation” through both the “acquisition of points” and the urge to “race against peers”, both of which are aspects evident within our game (EDUCAUSE 2014).
If developed further, I would incorporate Harry Potter themed questions that integrate not only trivia, but also linguistic and mathematical enquiries, in order to promote more educationally-based outcomes. Thus skills acquired within the game could be applied “outside the activity”, and promote a more thorough “development of learning and skills”, as oppose to an explicitly trivia-based knowledge (EDUCAUSE 2014).
Educause. (2014). “7 Things You Should Know About Games and Learning.” Educause Learning Inititative.