By Thomas Nocera, registration needed to read the article.
In an earlier post, I reported on the "gameness" and concluded that these "gameness" elements are equally applicable in the design of learning activities. Thomas further points to a number of theories that
astute game developers can benefit from mastering
What Thomas is referring is "interpersonal communication". As he puts it,
The theoretical knowledge of what keeps humans engaged in relationships is important. Relationships are fundamentally dyads - where 2 people are engaged in 2 way communications in an ongoing, satisfactory, even if not completely pleasurable way. Understanding the motivating reasons why we remain in communication with each other is an essential component of game developer knowledge.
Two theories are highlighted:
"the exchange theory". As it applies to interpersonal communications: people will stay in relationships (or, communicating with each other, or playing a game)as long as their individual perception is that they are getting more out of it (the relationship, or the game) than they are putting into it.
The other is his own called Nocera's Law: Everything communicates!
When I was theoretising the underlying design of Fablusi, the role play simulation platform, I stated that human interactions are communicative events. The whole Fablusi platform is about modelling different types of human communications and relationships. I called Fablusi as a glorified conferencing system. Instead of providing choices for players to choose (and response), Fablusi enables *real* human players to exchange free form text behind of masks of persona as designed by the simulation designers, hence enabling the players to step in the shoes of another stakeholder.
After reading the response to Postscript to "The Psychology of Games", I am now more convinced that a good learning activity should encourage learners to express freely and receive authentic response to the expressions. Isn't Laurillard's conversation theory based on the same premise? However, what about extending the conversation partner beyond a student-teacher dialogue to include peer conversation?