Toward a framework for the analysis and design of educational games
We describe and illustrate the beginnings of a general framework for the design and analysis of educational games. Our students have used it to analyze existing educational games and to create prototype educational games. The framework is built on existing components: a method for precisely specifying educational objectives, a framework for relating a game's mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics, and principles for instructional design grounded in empirical research in the learning sciences. The power of the framework comes from the components themselves, as well as from considering these components in concert and making connections between them. The framework coordinates the many levels at which an educational game must succeed in order to be effective. We illustrate the framework by using it to analyze Zombie Division and to generate some redesign ideas for this game.