Gaming and Surfing

As I dive deeper into the theory and structure of the training courses, I realize that a lot of basic usability features of web pages and applications map closely to the features of adventure games which we consider vital and part of “good gameplay”.

Consider personal inventory. You are in a small room. You are wearing a backpack which contains a coil of rope and some food . Compare this to any of the numerous checkout screens at Amazon.com. Your shopping cart is used in the same way: You put something in it, and while you move from page to page (room to room) the things you put in the cart stay in the cart. They are available for you to use whenever you need them.

Consider navigation. In an adventure game it is considered poor form to put the player in a room from which there is no escape. By “no escape” I mean that the player character is alive and well, but cannot backtrack and cannot go forward. The only way out is to restore a saved game or manually restart the game (play with the game rather than within the game). This is analogous to hitting a page in a website where there are no navigation elements and the only way to move to a different part of the site is to hit the web browser’s “back” button (restore a saved game) or type a new URL in the address bar (restart the game).

I am sure there are many more parallels, but these seemed to be the obvious ones.

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