Stories and narrative – ‘simulators that run on minds’

I seem to have heard a lot about stories, narrative and learning recently. A couple of projects we are working on require the use of overarching narrative within the learning games. These methods were specifically requested by the clients to drive deeper learner engagement and higher performance. In conversations with Donald Clark, he points out the complex narrative present in many popular TV shows and video games. In part this is a response to the current media backlash against the Internet and digital media as learning and social medium – turning us into pancake people, highly distracted learners who have neither the time nor skills to reflect deeply on the avalanche of information available to us. So we know a little bit about a lot of things but without any depth. Donald, quite rightly rejects this notion and as part of this rejection he points to the complex storylines of TV drama The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost, 24 etc. These demand high levels of analysis and reflection to unravel plots, character intentions and motives.

A great article in Gamasutra describes a renaissance in narrative design through releases such as Bioshock, Façade and Far Cry 2. Games designers have long since recognized the power of narrative to engage and motivate players. Next Gen is driving new levels of innovation in modular story design and increasing player freedom to be able to create their own narrative within games.  So, all of this has had me thinking about the how and why of integrating narrative into the design of Immersive Learning Simulations.             

 

By happy coincidence an article in the Scientific American landed in my inbox entitled “The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn. Our love for telling tales reveals the workings of the mind”

 

 

 

 

 

The power of narrative to engage

The research asks – Why does our brain seem to be wired to enjoy stories? And how do the emotional and cognitive effects of a narrative influence our beliefs and real-world decisions?

Stories it seems are a universal part of human culture – this may not be big news to many of us, however the consistency in themes, structure and purpose of stories start to uncover why they are such powerful methods of human communication and learning.

Stories are highly motivating to us precisely because they target themes that are emotionally and cognitively important to us – scientists argue that these are wired into us as fundamental drivers. Studies across human societies identify a few clear common themes for stories. Primary among these are Conflict and Love. This is surprising as romantic love might not thought to be a good candidate for universality as many societies view marriage as an economic union. More surprisingly, stories across societies show similar gender depictions – a strong male protagonist and female beauty. This is consistent across societies ranging from Western democracies to hunter-gatherer tribes. There were no instances of male beauty.

We use them naturally

The effect of stories can be seen at a very young age where we have been shown to develop strong emotional attachments to stories through storybooks, movies and games that we encounter. In a large part of our everyday communication we have been shown to use stories and story like structures to communicate with others. This powerful communication medium can be very successful in persuading and changing behaviour. Experiments consistently show that narrative fiction can shift readers viewpoints towards the views expressed within the narrative.

Why we learn from them

It’s interesting that for all of the debate in education and training about delivery formats, ‘learning styles’ (hocus pocus), etc the key predictor of improved learning outcomes is the instructional method used and the degree to which this engages the student in appropriate cognitive processing on the content. See Clive Shepherds blog for a discussion of this.

Research studies into narrative fiction have begun to uncover a common structure and a consistency in properties that lends itself to reflection and analysis instructional processes. A familiar definition of narrative is that they include a series of causally linked events that unfold over time.

 

Rules of causation govern the structure of narrative and must be imagined, identified and interpreted by the reader in making sense of the narrative. The rules of causation provide a coherence to the narrative where events, actions and relationships must be processed according to logical (if x then y), causal (because x then y) and temporal (fist x then y) characteristics. In many instances the actors, events, actions and timing form a complex system of causal interrelationships that must be comprehended by the reader. However, humans are able to so this very successfully. This structure is natural for human communication and interpretation. This is further aided by the familiarity of the social content usually contained within narrative and by the coherence of content – it avoids tangential content and content elements are assumed to relate to goals and relationships.Other elements relevant to Sims designers – Narrative usually involves an agent in pursuing a goal. Readers of narrative often comprehend the depicted events by assuming the perspective of a character. This is interesting to designers of Sims as it resonates with research showing increased player investment into personal avatars in games and that seeing the world through the eyes of the player can engender a strong feeling of ‘presence’ or of ‘being there’.

‘Fiction as a kind of simulation that runs on minds’          

The work of Raymond Mar and Keith Oatley has done much to uncover the motivating properties and structures within narrative fiction.

As we have seen, the structure of narrative fiction demands the reflection upon a complex network of social nodes and relationships. Mar and Oatley relate the function of narrative fiction to that of simulators that instead of running on computers, run on peoples minds (no reason why they could not work on computers aswell J):

Firstly, they argue that narrative fiction creates a deep and immersive simulative experience. Readers of novels, filmgoers, gameplayers and theatergoers all undergo simulations of events. Narrative fiction engenders an imagined experience in the minds of learners that represents the events described by the narrative. They construct the emotional and cognitive experience of the described events. Evidence also shown by brain imaging studies that have shown that when we imagine visual and auditory scenes we use much of the same neural architecture as when we are viewing it for real.

 Secondly they argue that narrative fiction provides a complex and rich social model through which the reader can make predictions, form explanations and be exposed to underlying processes. In the same way that computer models offer means by which to understand and predict the weather, narrative performs this function for social relations and phenomena.  In this view, narrative is a hard wired capability in the evolved social brain of humans. They simulate social phenomena so that humans can understand the intentions, goals, emotions and other mental states held by characters.

 

 

 

 

Narrative in Immersive Learning Sims

 

The research literature demonstrates the strength of narrative as a learning method and further identifies the themes, structure and properties that underlie its power. Video games utilize narrative to successfully engage and motivate players. How about Immersive Learning Simulations? The history of narrative in ILS is rather brief – in Caspian we have completed one such project to date:

 

The game covers the development of Rome and explores the social and political changes related to it. The target audience is 11 – 14 years old. It was commissioned by a client for global distribution via a web browser. The requirement at the outset was to improve both knowledge and analysis skills – measurable against other delivery methods – and the experience must look and feel like a game to the users. An overarching narrative would play a key role in the development.

 

 

 

 

 

The design template for the game is a puzzle adventure format that successfully blends game plot and narrative with historical content and learning mechanics. Learners take on the role of ‘Time Knights’ working for the Chrono Crime Commission – a group of time traveling investigators sworn to protect the integrity of history from others from the future who may abuse it. Over the course of four different missions and 32 levels they must investigate potential time crime activity in the context of ancient Rome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

 

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

 

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 

 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher level learning mechanics are embedded into gameplay and interweaved with historical narrative and also the game story that unfolds over each mission. The action is exploratory with the player been given limited plot information. For instance, in mission one the player follows AgentX (the baddie) who has transported back in time. They must solve several different mechanics to identify component parts of the plans of AgentX. These must then be synthesised and judged in relation to historical events and facts, to understand what AgentX is going to do. Over two hours of gameplay this links natural resources, map of empire, voting process in Republic, role of Familia, role of Senate and the role of Military, to conclude and thwart his plans. There are many different ways to succeed or to fail within the game story. In addition, the game story is bolstered by uncovering personalities in the team and in historical characters.

 

 

The result was very successful in user feedback and in learning performance. The experience prompts some questions in me relating to ILS and narrative:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

¨       Time and complexity – This was a complex design exercise; to take unrelated character and story related plots and narrative and to interweave it with real historical information that had to be accurate and which could not be changed (whatever happens, Caesar has to die). It demands a range of skillsets, not just in design but in project and account management. Budget would be larger than for typical bespoke ILS developments and time frames would be longer. This project was delivered in six months but that was a stretch and not recommended. This probably mitigates against many corporate bespoke ILS deployments. A question I have is – can narrative be delivered in shorter more focused ILS deployments? Or is its power in the complexity of interrelationships in the narrative that naturally lends itself to longer more detailed ILS?

¨       Audience – The two requests that we have had have both been targeting a teenage audience. From the data we know that narrative is a function of human behaviour across any age group, but for ILS developers, is the education market the obvious target for narrative driven ILS?

Business model – I have said above that I think the timelines, complexity and budgets make bespoke corporate/organizational deployments of this type less likely. Developing narrative driven ILS as a product for either global education as a venture or partnership seems more likely. There are a few examples of this; one I really like is Global Conflicts Palestine. However, the product option may also open this option up for corporate/organizational target customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Stories and narrative – ‘simulators that run on minds’

  1. […] A Thousand Splendid Suns. However, I am a big advocate of the power of narrative and stories as simulators that run on minds – so an initiative bringing great minds and money to spread the word on stories perks my […]

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