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Does Your Game Provide Artful Instruction?

At the 1997 Anaheim ISPI Conference, our friend Steve Yelon made an invited Master's Presentation on creative instruction and artful training.

A checklist that Steve used for identifying artful instruction can be readily applied to training games. I have used this checklist to evaluate and analyze my games and other people's games. Using these results, I have made the games more creative.

Is your game memorable? This is the first item on Steve's checklist. Does your game include novelty, surprise, incongruity, cleverness, and meaningfulness?

Is your game inspirational? Do the players go "Oh!" because it elevates their spirit and emotion? Do the players go "Aha!" because it provides insights? Do the players go "Ah!" because it appeals to their aesthetic sense?

Is your game elegant? Is the design refined yet ingeniously simple?

Most of my games score high on one or two of the checklist items. I am now designing an ultimate game that will score high on all three items. And then, I'll retire and live off the royalties.

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