Feedback in games

A key characteristic of games that these learning environments have ahead of them is the amount, depth, and immediacy of feedback. In games, feedback is nearly constant. In games, feedback serves to evoke a particular behavior. This informational type of feedback provides information about what was "right" or "wrong" to do, or what "right" or "wrong" thing was done. However, this feedback in play is not usually accompanied by guidance on how to "do better."
Another form of feedback guides game players and points them in the "right" direction. There is also often overlap between the two forms of in-game feedback described here.
Widely known game designer Robin Hunicke describes "juicy" feedback (i.e., "feedback that works well" with the following criteria:
  • tangible: players should be able to almost feel the feedback and it should result in flow and not be unnatural
  • inviting: players should want the feedback and work towards it
  • repeatable: the feedback can be asked for over and over again, if it is the need of the players.
  • coherent and emergent: the feedback relates to the context of the game and the things that happen in the game. Feedback emerges naturally from the game and does not interrupt it.
  • pervasive: players do not have to wait for feedback.
  • balanced: players know it is feedback and can act on it while not being overwhelmed by the feedback.
  • "fresh": feedback may contain surprising elements and should also be interesting.
(freely translated and paraphrased from Karl Kapp 2012, pp. 35-37)
Feedback in general can be realized technically with very many and different settings and tools. Basically, learning with the learning platform is permeated with forms of feedback. In games, direct feedback is usually used a lot. This can be achieved, for example, with settings that provide direct feedback.
When using questions, for example, you can use the automatic evaluation. This allows learners to know whether they are on the right track immediately after answering the question. Feedback on questions can be provided in the learning module and in the test directly after they have been answered. In the test, an overview of the answers can also or instead be called up at the end.
Through content for recapitulation, you can encourage learners to retrace certain steps, for example, to look again at certain pages, or to get to know an additional source of information that more closely matches their learning behavior or supports them in progressing in the game. For example, mentor characters can also appear here to give tips on how to progress. Keep in mind that content for recapitulation cannot be displayed in learning modules.
Through the object exercise or free text questions as well as the comment and evaluation function at various places in the learning platform, indirect feedback can be provided. Note here that the time intervals should not be too long and that you address the process in the game by designing the feedback to keep it in context. Depending on the scenario, non-immediate feedback can also refer to long-term rewards.
Other forms of feedback that can be found in gaming contexts are leaderboards and badges, which are described in more detail elsewhere:
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