Heyo, Julian Schuetze here on behalf of The Collective.
If you are unfamiliar with the subject of using games for skill acquisition, you can find more articles that I've written about to help understand the subject better.
Why Your Club Should Play More Games
Implementation & Lesson Planning
I've been playing more with game design for the purposes of skill acquisition, namely providing different weighted scores for different actions in order to adjust behaviour and learning of the participants. This may seem obvious, but when learning to design or alter games, details like this can be very easy to miss if you are new.
The easiest example of this would be applied during sparring (it generally is already in tournaments). If you make head shots worth 2 points vs everything else being 1 point, more people are going to attempt to strike the head due to the reward. SwordStem wrote an article that showed that weighted values in tournaments does affect participant behaviour. So a very easy way to implement this into your curriculum, is if you want people to improve targeting to a specific area (let's say, leg shots), just provide more reward for hitting that target. Don't forget to make sure participants are breaking down their failures and to learn why their attack didn't work in order to have a deeper learning experience.
This is an obvious and relatively simple application of weighted scoring, and I do consider sparring a form of a game so it applies there. But weighted scoring can be used in more Narrow, focused games as well:
I'll provide an example of a simple grappling entry based game:
If the scoring only provided each participant with one point, what I found would happen is that the attacker doesn't particularly throw that first shot with a lot of intensity, as that left them more susceptible to over-reach and have a harder time dealing with the grapple. Since defending the grapple was generally easier, the participants gravitated towards that option being the primary form to win. Which overall, quite disbalanced the game.
However, I made a change on the point values. If the attacker lands that initial hit, then they instantly win. If each game is a case of "first to 3 points win" or whatnot, there is now far more incentive to really try to commit to that shot - just like they do in sparring. What ended up happening is they did so, and did in fact overextend themselves, and when we covered tactical problems during questioning, "attacking without overextension" was a topic that came up and they actively learned from that experience. As opposed to the first scenario, where people just didn't commit to the attack because it was harder to win that way.
Here's another game I do where I tried using weighted scoring.
When we played this game prior, few people tried to do the counter-attack option because it was harder than just defending. However once I introduced the instant win differentiation, now people are going for it all the time and as a result are giving themselves more learning opportunities.
My conclusion is that most people are lazy, and try to take the route of most convenience (I call this efficiency personally, but yaknow). If you want to try to really draw out certain learning points in a game, try altering point rewards to provide reward for taking the risk of harder options.
That's it for now, hope this was helpful.
We acknowledge that The Historical Combat Collective operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem, Sto:lo and Songhees First Nations Peoples. We are grateful to have the opportunity to gather, work, and train on this land.