Put simply Gamelets are short-form Games. A Gamelet is to a Game what a Youtube video is to a movie, or a comic strip is to a comic book. The shortness of its form instils certain inherent constraints into the medium. At the same time the shorter, sharper and more precise form gives this new medium (Gamelets) a agility and adaptability which is absent in its more brawnier cousin (Games)
The gamelet approach of practice transfer utilises short form game content that can be accessed by practitioners at their own time and convenience on mobile devices. Gamelets could be Serious Games, Virtual Reality or other forms of e-learning.
At Playware, we can be very specific about how we define gamelets; short form content, narrative based design, authentic context, little or no scaffolding and a focus on skills. Gamelets are also not intended as a standalone learning content. They are, in our opinion best used in a blended approach.
Gamelets should be short and allow the learners to get into an authentic context that allows them to practice the skills quickly.
Little or no Scaffolding
We recommend little or no scaffolding for gamelets so that participants can learn from their productive failures in this safe environment. This also gives experienced practitioners their due dignity.
We recommend that gamelets be designed as narrative driven interactive scenario based learning. There are several advantages of using narratives such as; simple to understand context, ease of incorporating soft skills practice, longer retention and better recall.
We recommend that gamelets be created with technology requirements that are simple to meet. It is our experience that within the smart phone category devices have wide-ranging capabilities. It is prudent for organizations to follow a gamelet technology strategy that is trailing the current game technology by a few generations. Given that gamelets are best used on mobile devices we recommend that along with low system specifications needed the also have a small storage footprint and low bandwidth requirements. Ideally gamelets should be able to be used without the need for constant Internet connectivity.
Gamelets should have a simple user experience with easy to understand interfaces so that participants need not spend a lot of time learning how to use them. Conversely it should also be easy to author and subsequently alter gamelets.
In the next article we will share case-studies and research to support and elucidate the Gamelets style of corporate practice using mobile phones.