Interactive ≠ Game

Here’s a problem:

If something is electronic or interactive
does not make it a game!
Yesterday I took part in a TLT Web seminar by the 21st Century Information Fluency Project entitled “Game Based Website Evaluation.” Sounds good doesn’t it? I thought so too.

Unfortunately, “game based” meant dragging a file card image representing different criteria for web evaluation into a yes or no box. Once the file cards are sorted, clicking on the “wizard” shows how many cards are in each box. Based on a simple tally, the site tells you whether to “use” or “lose” the website. It’s not a bad checklist, but that’s all it is. A fancy checklist, is not a game.

I was not only disappointed but irritated by the web seminar yesterday. Maybe if I didn’t write or read this site and others like it, I would have thought the “game” worthwhile. But come on gentlemen – that is no “game.” They did a solid job creating fake sites to evaluate, but the “game” is only a checklist, nothing more. Their “game” falls into a trap that many teachers slip into. Just because we create something a little interactive thinking it’s a game – can turn off our students and ultimately the teachers to the idea of using games. Done well, games work. But like any learning strategy, done poorly leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

Here's the link, although it's not active yet:

I’ve emailed the creators to see how they justify the site as a game and what research they did to reach that conclusion… I’ll post any response that I get.