Closed Systems

Extensible Systems

Player-Interaction Systems

Game manufacturer create scenarios and define all behavior

Example: Sim city


  1. Carefully directed.

  2. Sophisticated programming possibilities

  3. prescribed paths mean “uniform experiences”

  4. time-efficient

  5. able to play alone


  1. Players don’t have control

  2. Knowledge is usually lost

  3. Only use information available through game

  4. inability to change rules or modify

  5. game doesn’t adapt easily to player behavior

  6. Usually Proprietary

Learning Possibilities

Players can add to the gameboard by creating rooms, objects and non-player characters NPC’s

Example: MOO’s (noninteractive)


  1. always on and available

  2. players can create as well as participate

  3. players can explore areas

  4. Can accumulate knowledge as the game is played by more people

  5. Synchronous or asynchronous


  1. Sometimes quite dull and undirected

  2. Although programming is not involved for going through rooms or creating things, it is a little tricky for novices

  3. dependent on “critical mass” of people

Learning Possibilities

Players play in a game environment. Usually they are role-playing. They create personas.

Technology, action, geography is not so important as interactions between live people

Example: Everquest


  1. Team building is emphasized

  2. Allows people to argue, suggest, criticize, exchange jokes

  3. The more people, the better

  4. Personal interactions are maximized


  1. Nothing is permanent except the gameboard

  2. Knowledge is lost

  3. Success depends almost entirely on the talents of the particular players

  4. The only possible action is dialogue. It’s hard for players to integrate a player’s actions with chat.

  5. Synchronous only

Learning Possibilities