The classroom as a game

Lee Sheldon teaches game design at Indiana University.  His methods are a bit unconventional.  His class on building massively multiplayer online games is itself structured like an MMO.  Students work in teams called “guilds”, grades are awarded with experience points, and exams are boss fights that guilds work together to complete.  He’s recently started a blog on the class.

One of the themes I’ve been developing is that many things we do in everyday life are indistinguishable from games, but we’re just not used to thinking of them that way.  There’s real value in that insight, because interfaces that cater to those activities can benefit from the same design principles that make games so compelling.

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