A Conversation with Clark Aldrich -Part Two

Here is the second part of my conversation with Clark Aldrich. (in case you missed it, here is Part One.)

Clark asked me to see if I could find a picture of the two of us together so I decided to see how far back I could find a picture. I think this one is from 2005.

Here is the rest of my recent conversation with Clark Aldrich.

Kapp: So how can people benefit from ClarkChart and how can they contribute?

Aldrich: People will use it in whatever way suits them. I even have daily special features, such as collections of sims that all won a recent award (such as I/ITSEC, here or or that are good examples of “OpEd” content shown here.

But I am hoping people who have a stake in the industry will contribute to the database on their own. It is easy to submit a sim (just use the Add Your Sim link) It is certainly advantageous for anyone to submit their own sims, whether their organizations’ sims or sims they have created themselves. There is no better place to get out there.

But I hope people will get in the habit of submitting some of their favorite sims that they took that are not currently in the database. For example, someone just entered in Zoo Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon. This prompted me to create a milestone category and I’ve added a few more since then.

Inevitably, some information will not be accurate. I am hoping people email me when they find mistakes or have suggestions for new inclusions in catagories or tag words.

Finally, obviously, because this will be a free resource to all, I am hoping to add a few more sponsors. They will allow increased functionality that I have planned to come online faster.

From what I can tell this site has already helped quite a few organizations make better and faster buying decisions. But I also sense it is giving more people a clear view of just how good this industry has become.

Kapp: You’ve done so much pioneering and foundational work in the serious games industry, what do you think of the “gamification” trend—the idea of using game-elements in learning courses instead of creating an entire game?

Aldrich: Gamification is a trendy term, felt necessary to establish by the then rise of Farmville. But it is a continuation of an approach with a rich and proven history. As long as it is not seen as a magic bullet, the additional tools are great. I believe Badges (in the Mozilla sense) are the real news, and represent a permanent and valued change in the education landscape, even if the concept will go through bumps.

One flaw with serious games came when people thought that making a good game was predictable. Similarly, one flaw with gamification is people thinking making an experience addictive is predictable. These are both false, of course. Instead, what is predictable is making an experience worthwhile, but it does take hard work and good design.

Kapp: If you were to give students advice about serious games and the elearning industry in general, what advice would you give?

Aldrich: This is a market that has increased by about 10% a year for the last fifteen years, with no sign of letting up. It is changing all of education. Sims, along with communities, even videos, are important pieces to mix and match.

There will always be trends, and people chasing them. Consumer technology is the Will-o’-the-wisp of our industry. I have seen many well funded people get lost in the woods for fear of missing out on some big new idea, forever attending conferences and tracking down rumors. You can’t know everything that is gong on.

Byt my final framework and compass comes from Unschooling Rules. The goal of Education is really simple. It is to help individuals identify and hone their unique gifts, identify and hone their unique mission in life, and then find opportunities to connect the two. Everyone has the same question “How can I live well by doing what I do better than anyone else and solving the problems I think of as the most critical?” As long as efforts support that individual goal, you are doing something right.

Kapp: Thanks Clark, really enjoyed hearing about your industry insights.

Posted in: simulation, simulations

Leave a Comment (0) ↓
Karl Kapp
  • About
  • Contact