I was just reading an insightful white paper by Allison Rossett and Antonia Chan, Engaging in the new e-Learning. The authors lay out a compelling case for the fully-engaged, participatory learning that we anticipate becoming common in the e-learning 2.0 world--learning where the participant is immersed in engaging environments, where support and guidance is integrated into performance settings, where the learner is an active creator of eLearning resources, and where both teacher and student, mentor and apprentice, are integrated through direct contact and through technology into a vibrant learning community.
by Steve Lee, strategic relationship manager
These days more and more "games" seem to be popping up in e-Learning. The problem is these games have no "Context". No context means the interface, rules, flow, choices, thought processes of the games are not realistic or relevant to the actual job performance of the learner. Many of these games simply take "facts" and place the into a game similar to Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, etc. to simply make taking a test more fun.
While increasing the motivation of the user to learn is paramount, making Q&A fun is not nearly as efffective as using "Gaming Theory" to create a simulation, scenario, adventure, or some other type of realistic challenge, with relevant scoring, feedback, and consequences.