Fun and learning: blending design and development dimensions in serious games through narrative and characters

Marsh, Tim, Nickole, Li Zhiqiang, Klopfer, Eric, Xuejin, Chuang, Haas, Jason, and Osterweil, Scot (2011) Fun and learning: blending design and development dimensions in serious games through narrative and characters. In: Minhua, Mia, Oikonomou, Andreas, and Jain, Lakhmi C, (eds.) Serious Games and Edutainment Applications. Springer, UK, pp. 273-290.

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Abstract

This chapter describes the development of four versions of a game for learning and comparative study carried out in a Singapore high school to shed light on the effectiveness of puzzle and narrative-based games in engaging students, their learning experience and understanding of the physics concepts of displacement and velocity. In particular, it describes the introduction of an off-screen character to help reach a synergy of fun and learning, through an optimal blend of design and development dimensions. The off-screen character achieves this through narration of an extended narrative/story intertwined with aspects of the learning topics. In this way the character's purpose is twofold; firstly, as part of the narrative/story and secondly, as learning partner or assistant. Results from the study demonstrate that while some aspects of learning were comparable from both the puzzle and narrative versions of the game, the narrative versions provided a flexible and powerful approach to introduce technical/scientific terms and language associated with the topics of learning. In addition, players consistently rated the narrative versions as being more fun, more exciting, and more engaging. While relatively simple, it is argued that this approach is cost-effective and accessible in informing academics and teachers in schools in customizing their own virtual environments, simulations, games for learning, serious games, and commercially available off-the-shelf titles (COTS) with topics from the curriculum.

Item ID: 19656
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1447121602
Keywords: serious games, games for learning, game development, design, empirical study, displacement, velocity, narrative, characters, experience, learning
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 23:51
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190202 Computer Gaming and Animation @ 75%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190205 Interactive Media @ 25%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8902 Computer Software and Services > 890203 Computer Gaming Software @ 70%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies @ 30%
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