eLearning Rockstars Stage – The Hero’s Journey: Exploring Elements in Learning Games

 In eLearning Brothers


DevLearn 2018 was another amazing year for the prestigious eLearning conference and expo. Hosted by the eLearning Guild, it always produces a wealth of amazing sessions and inspirational content. Not to brag too much, but we think we did a pretty good job of adding to that with this past year’s roster of presenters on the eLearning Rockstars Learning Stage.

Our very own Rich Vass presented on the often-overlooked game elements that focus on the story—the narrative—which can take surprisingly little time to craft, but can make all the difference. He shared many examples that demonstrated well-done narrative elements and effectively crafted eLearning games.


screenshot of hero's journey from rich's devlearn presentation


A Bit of Background on “The Hero’s Journey”

The concept of the hero’s journey references key elements of effective storytelling popularized by Joseph Campbell in his 1949 work “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Campbell was influenced by Carl Jung’s view of myth and the compelling nature of stories that draw people into alternate realities where they ultimately learn about themselves through protagonists and antagonists.

In this session, Rich covered:

  • How to apply a proven model for effective game elements that follow best practices for storytelling and narrative
  • How to challenge conventional thinking about what makes a great game
  • How to design basic elements in your games to elevate the immersion and engagement factors
  • How to evaluate game elements within the context of the Hero’s Journey model

Here are some good game elements that Rich recommends:

  • Voluntary activity/sense of choice
  • Sense of engagement, entertainment
  • Goal/challenge
  • Rules—set some parameters for your learner
  • Tell a compelling story
  • Create conflict
  • Make it pretty! Looks do matter
  • Strike a balance between challenging and too difficult
  • Give players control

Watch the video from DevLearn 2018 to learn more.



Download Rich’s presentation slides here.


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