SmartResponse is a project built upon the concept of “serious gaming” as a training modality. We believe that video games can be a very effective educational medium, so I wanted to take some time to talk about a few of the unique advantages video games have to offer.
This isn’t to say that other artforms don’t allow for immersion- some of the best works of film and literature are great in part because they allow the audience to get immersed in the work. However, the interactive nature of video games means the medium itself tends to facilitate immersion as a default. For the SmartResponse Preview Release, we focused on creating an immersive interactive experience to make training all that much more effective.
When learning from a textbook or a video, there’s little you can do to take control of your learning experience. A video can be paused or rewound, a book can be put down, but there’s a single linear training experience at the heart of it all. By giving players actual control over what happens, video games provide their audience with a sense of agency that isn’t really possible anywhere else. In the SmartResponse Preview Release, we made sure that the player has the ability to really make choices and influence their learning experience.
A video game built to teach can be a training exercise and an assessment combined together into a single package. The experience through a game can provide both opportunities to learn and opportunities for new knowledge to be put into action, and feedback can even be immediate. A mistake or misstep can have immediate consequences within the game world, allowing a player to understand that they have done something wrong right away. There’s no need to delay and wait for a score when the act of making a decision prompts instant feedback. The SmartResponse Preview Release has a feedback system that both demonstrates the consequences of a player’s actions within the game and provides expanded feedback at the end of the experience.