There is no settled definition of what educational games are. Royle (2008) suggests that educational games "are games designed with specific curriculum objectives in mind" (Exhibit 2, ¶3); often games that have been used in education have been developed to support the practice of factual information. As Prensky (2006) explains, these games tend to be drill and practice games; according to Kiili (2005), they require no reflection on the outcomes of actions. Generally players simply keep on experimenting with actions until their scores improve. Hence, Prensky terms these games "drill and kill" because they are based only on trial and error and provide little motivation to learn. Kiili, like Royle, surmises that attempts to create engaging educational games have failed because educational outcomes have taken precedence over gameplay.
Kiili, K. 2005. Digital game-based learning: Towards an experimental gaming model. The Internet and Higher Education 8 (1): 13–24.
Prensky, M. 2006. Don’t bother me Mom—I'm learning. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House.
Royle, K. 2008. Game-based learning: A different perspective. Innovate 4(4). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=433&action=article (accessed November 25, 2008). Archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5cbDTFiih.