When developing a learning game, how important is it to include the elements of story? How do you develop a story for learning games? Is it hard to do? Is it worth it? In this chapter, you will learn about the importance of using story in learning environments, more specifically serious games. We introduce approaches that you can use to embed story into games. We also introduce key issues and challenges designers face when trying to incorporate story into learning games and provide recommendations for overcoming them.
We all tell stories. Man has used them for thousands of years as a way to share experiences, pass on cultural traditions, celebrate the past, imagine the future, and communicate lessons learned. It seems that we have always turned to stories as a way to transmit thoughts, feelings, and knowledge. So what makes a story so special? When we have an opportunity to exchange or deliver information, why do stories seem to convey the message better than other constructs such as bullet points, outlines, or reports? The answer is that we are built to understand stories.
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