Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2001 Spring

Game Criteria

Conflict A successful game has a degree of conflict that provides a challenge to achieve the outcome.
Constraints It is ideal to have the least number of constraints imposed on the participants’ behavior to promote creativity.
Type of Closure End your game with something that is memorable and allows all participants to be a “winner.”
Contrivance and Correspondence to Reality Make the game realistic enough that the players get involved and that it corresponds sufficiently to real life.
Replayability Creating a game so it can be played a number of times provides the students with the opportunity to try out different methods and learn from the resulting differences. The game should be flexible enough to accommodate minor variations to keep the players intrigued.
Time Requirement To have a game be exciting, keep it fast paced. Games that drag can be deadly to involvement and participation.
Number of Players Keep the game flexible by involving small groups of three to five players. Then use parallel play between the groups as an instructional advantage by having the groups compare their experiences during discussion time.
Purpose The game should involve aspects of motivation, instruction, evaluation, and experimentation. Attempt to accommodate as many aspects as possible–keeping the components in balance.