Spore is the next game phenomenon from Will Wright, creator of The Sims franchise. In Spore, players nurture single-cell animals into sentient beings that create community and build civilizations, eventually exploring and colonizing space. In this video, Will presents Spore - and his game design philosophy, based in large measure on Maria Montessori's philosophy of education. Notably, Will underscores the importance of user-generated content to the player's attachment to the game and the player's overall game experience.
To my mind, there are three key take-aways from Will's presentation:
- The notion of attachment is vital to learning, too, of course. Attachment creates personal meaning and relevance - important factors to learning, retention, and transference.
- Learner-generated content is not only useful in demonstrating content mastery; it keeps a learner/player engaged with content - and potentially with other learners/players.
- Serious game designers have much to learn from the gurus of entertainment game design.
After you look at Will's presentation, create your own critters. Yes, you'll get attached to the little buggers. You'll be very excited to launch them into the Spore universe and grow them into complex societies. Along the way, you'll learn about evolution, biology, geology, climate change, cosmology... Now that's a seriously fun game.