Mindful Moments: Stories and Lessons of Procrastination

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Games as Motivation? Microsoft’s Ribbon Hero

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Microsoft office is in a bit of trouble due to the free alternatives out there (Open Office and Google Docs in particular). So, in my opinion, they’re not about to win over many new tech savvy converts for their oh so expensive Office Suite. Maybe that’s partly why they’re prioritizing creative techniques to help less tech savvy users learn their software.

Whatever the reason, putting out a web game to help you learn how to use their programs is a cool idea. Ribbon Hero is a very interesting experiment in a game environment that walks users through tutorials about Microsoft software.

My question for the internet? How motivating is Ribbon Hero to use? Does having a leader board where you can compare scores with other Ribbon Heroes motivating? Is the game fun enough to enrich your learning experience? Does it successfully put you in a cognitive state that helps you learn? The people at Education Arcade have a lot to say about motivation through games.

Most importantly, what can we learn from this software about how to motivate ourselves?

I’m going to sniff around the internet for a bit and see if I can collect some people’s answers on the topic. (As for myself, I was turned off by the videos about Ribbon Hero. So instead of forcing myself to try something that failed to draw me in I’m choosing a more scholarly approach to learning about it.) I’ll update when I have more to share.

OK… the blogosphere hasn’t sated my thirst on this one yet. CNET just describes Ribbon Hero, ZDNET writes a fawning puff piece, and Web Strategist Blog publishes some interesting suggestions for how to improve it. But no description of what it’s like to actually use it.



Written by clayward

April 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Posted in fun

One Response

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  1. I am interested in this as well and doing some research…not much on games for software learning specifically.


    May 12, 2010 at 12:32 am

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