Friday, February 19, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Rubric for Game Design

Rubrics are one of the most misunderstood tools in teaching, and one of my concerns in working on a rubric for looking at games was that this, too, would be misconstrued. So, before getting to the rubric, I want to talk a little bit about the purpose of this rubric.

(1) The big thing is that there are two kinds of rubrics: definitional rubrics and evaluative (or scoring) rubrics. A definitional rubric is one that’s meant to help people accurately look at a product and talk meaningfully about it with common terminology. Ultimately, you can use the rubric to define the qualities of the product (in this case, a game) – but it doesn’t mean that something is better or worse than another. This rubric, as it’s designed, is a definitional rubric. Its purpose is to help people look more objectively at games.

A scoring rubric, or an evaluative rubric, has a different purpose. While it, too, will seek to define aspects of a product, there will be an additional layer, one that rates the product based on those definitive criteria. This rubric, as it’s designed, is not evaluative. There is no scoring system associated with this rubric, so this is not a way to rank games or reduce the aspects of the design to a mere set of numbers.