Information behaviour and how it applies to game narrative and construction. Reflection 4.1
Maybe finding that sweet spot where knowledge, skills and behaviour intersect will help us move from transmission of information to meaningful learning. We tend to focus on knowledge and skills but what about behaviour? This is where information behaviour becomes important. I have gained an understanding that information behaviour involves two main parts: seeking information and then communicating information.
Problem solving is integral to meaningful learning, so once posed with a problem, learners seek knowledge to solve that problem. Information seeking can take a variety of forms including active seeking of information, scanning sources, sometimes serendipitous discovery or it can be provoked.
Seeking that information efficiently requires a variety of information and media learning skills. Some vital skills include the ability to do the following: (Latham&Hollister, 2013)
- acquire vital information by seizing opportunities
- evaluate and interpret information
- interpret signs and symbols
- manipulate information analyse messages and interpret their meaning
Effective game narrative and construction should reflect these behaviours and be constructed to promote learning in this way. The narrative needs to start by posing a problem which motivates the learner to seek knowledge. The structure needs to offer opportunities for players/learners to seek knowledge. I suspect that a game which offers a variety of methods to discover knowledge would be most engaging and effective, so at times knowledge needs to be actively sought, it may be found by scanning the game, it may be provoked by other characters in the game or it may be serendipitously discovered. The players will use that acquired knowledge to interact with the game, communicate and manipulate their findings to solve the problem.
To me the most powerful element of information behaviour presented by high end games like World of Warcraft is the potential of the social group in helping the player to make meaning of their experience. John Seely describes the power of the guilds to generate exponential quantities of ideas and knowledge. Games which harness this collaborative communication, encourage reflection and feedback in a safe environment will potentially encourage the most productive and engaged behaviour.
Latham, D., & Hollister, J. M. (2013). The games people play: Information and media literacies in the Hunger Games trilogy. Children’s Literature in Education, 45(1), 33–46. doi:10.1007/s10583-013-9200-0
Stanford eCorner. (2010, December 9). John Seely Brown: The knowledge economy of World of Warcraft [Video file} Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZG6WTRP-6E