Many of us don’t understand how young people and adults can spend hours upon hours sat in front of a video game. We just don’t understand what they see in the game that causes them to be totally glued to their screens.
Some people consider video games to be addictive and dangerous. Others consider them to be a mere passing fad. But those who do get something from them believe that the reason why some people don’t value them is because they’ve never been fortunate enough to play them.
So what makes a good video game?
The truth is that good video games are not the result of chance. Well-made games, such as those described in the book The Art of Game Design, focus on including the following four basic elements, otherwise known as the elemental tetrad:
- The mechanics: these define the objective of the game as well as the rules stating what the players can and can’t do.
- The story or narrative: these guide the players through the game.
- The aesthetics: these define the sights, sounds, and sensations that the player experiences.
- The technology or use of innovation: these determine the technical elements used to create an enriching experience.
“A good video game is like a film. The player is the actor driving the story forward.”
Why are video games so widely adored?
According to Dr José Antonio Marina, a renowned philosopher and professor who specialises in the study of intelligence, every one of us seeks the following three desires:
- Social recognition
- Life progression
Games that attract players are those which implement the four basic elements in a way that satisfies these desires.
Someone who spends half an hour trying to get past the same level of a game is not simply wasting time. They might just be following their own instincts. They might just be attempting to satisfy Dr Marina’s three desires. It is an innate human behaviour that is tied to our DNA.
At Wibbu, we spent many months analysing the behaviour of language students. We wanted to find out what motivates them and why such a high percentage tend to drop out.
How can we best utilise the benefits of video games for language learning?
The conclusion we found was quite revealing: learning a language requires motivation and perseverance. Many language courses are only focused on providing content; they are not designed to motivate their students.
For this reason, at Wibbu we strive to do the opposite. We want people to stay motivated when learning languages, to enjoy their learning, to witness the fruits of their labour, and to make great progress. Which is why we have worked tirelessly for a year to bring you, RUBY REI! A video game that marries fun and engagement, with learning and achievement.
How did we do this?
By putting the basic elements of good video games into practice:
- Immersive mechanics that make the player feel that they are inside the game.
- A meaningful story with real-world significance that promotes good fundamental values.
- Dreamlike landscapes that evoke sensations in the player.
- Well-implemented technology and innovation that makes the video game accessible from any computer or mobile device.
It was a big challenge. But the dream of learning while playing a video game is stronger that any difficulty that could stand in the way. We’d love for you to try RUBY REI and let us know your thoughts. Get in touch today!
By Jonay Suárez, Head of Marketing at Wibbu.