The incomparable Escapist has another excellent article that we, who are interested in serious games for teaching and learning, would do well to consider:
When I was a tutor in college, my biggest challenge was dealing with students who thought my job was to make learning effortless and fun. They were often incensed that I could only help them if they were already willing to work hard. Over and over they’d ask in a tone reserved for bad wait-staff at a restaurant, “Hey, isn’t it your job to make sure I learn this?” Fortunately, a poor grade on a quiz or assignment was usually enough to remind them that learning was ultimately their responsibility, not mine.
Game designers, on the other hand, have no such luxury: They must constantly strive to make the learning process in games as fun and painless to players as possible. And paradoxically, the better they have gotten at teaching gamers the mechanics of their games, the less patience gamers have for instruction. This race between diminishing attention spans and less intrusive training has been a major force in gaming’s ongoing evolution, influencing which genres have flourished and which have foundered.