Graduate Student, Colorado State University
Studies exploring video game based learning tools.
Business, Military and Education have been exploring the use of serious games for educational purposes. This collection of studies will focus on game based learning to compare findings and methodologies used by researchers.
Technological advancements have introduced video game characteristics into educational and training programs. Organizations are increasingly using video games to train and develop employees and students.
Abstract: Estimating affective and cognitive states in conditions of rich human-computer interaction, such as in games, is a field of growing academic and commercial interest. Entertainment and serious games can benefit from recent advances in the field as, having access to predictors of the current state of the player (or learner) can provide useful information for feeding adaptation mechanisms that aim to maximize engagement or learning effects. In this paper, we introduce a large data corpus derived from 58 participants that play the popular Super Mario Bros platform game and attempt to create accurate models of player experience for this game genre. Within the view of the current research, features extracted both from player gameplay behavior and game levels, and player visual characteristics have been used as potential indicators of reported affect expressed as pairwise preferences between different game sessions. Using neuroevolutionary preference learning and automatic feature selection, highly accurate models of reported engagement, frustration, and challenge are constructed (model accuracies reach 91%, 92%, and 88% for engagement, frustration, and challenge, respectively). As a step further, the derived player experience models can be used to personalize the game level to desired levels of engagement, frustration, and challenge as game content is mapped to player experience through the behavioral and expressivity patterns of each player.
Pub.: 26 Nov '13, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: Well-designed digital games can deliver powerful experiences that are difficult to provide through traditional instruction, while traditional instruction can deliver formal explanations that are not a natural fit for gameplay. Combined, they can accomplish more than either can alone. An experiment tested this claim using the topic of statistics, where people’s everyday experiences often conflict with normative statistical theories and a videogame might provide an alternate set of experiences for students to draw upon. The research used a game called Stats Invaders!, a variant of the classic videogame Space Invaders. In Stats Invaders!, the locations of descending alien invaders follow probability distributions, and players need to infer the shape of the distributions to play well. The experiment tested whether the game developed participants’ intuitions about the structure of random events and thereby prepared them for future learning from a subsequent written passage on probability distributions. Community-college students who played the game and then read the passage learned more than participants who only read the passage.
Pub.: 05 Dec '13, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: This paper presents a case study of the key decisions made in the design of Orbit, a child sexual abuse prevention computer game targeted at school students between 8 and 10 years of age. Key decisions include providing supported delivery for the target age group, featuring adults in the program, not over-sanitizing game content, having a focus on building healthy self-concept of players, making the game engaging and relatable for all players and evaluating the program. This case study has implications for the design of Serious Games more generally, including that research should underpin game design decisions, game designers should consider ways of bridging the game to real life, the learning that arises from the game should go beyond rote-learning, designers should consider how the player can make the game-world their own and comprehensive evaluations of Serious Games should be undertaken.
Pub.: 20 Feb '14, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: Video games have a unique ability to engage, challenge, and motivate, which has led teachers, psychology specialists, political activists and health educators to find ways of using them to help people learn, grow and change. Serious games, as they are called, are defined as games that have a primary purpose other than entertainment. However, it is challenging to create games that both educate and entertain. While game designers have embraced some psychological concepts such as flow and mastery, understanding how these concepts work together within established psychological theory would assist them in creating effective serious games. Similarly, game design professionals have understood the propensity of video games to teach while lamenting that educators do not understand how to incorporate educational principles into game play in a way that preserves the entertainment. Bandura (2006) social cognitive theory (SCT) has been used successfully to create video games that create positive behavior outcomes, and teachers have successfully used Gardner's (1983) theory of multiple intelligences (MIs) to create engaging, immersive learning experiences. Cognitive behavioral game design is a new framework that incorporates SCT and MI with game design principles to create a game design blueprint for serious games.
Pub.: 20 Feb '14, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: The design of "Serious games" that use game components (e.g., storyline, long-term goals, rewards) to create engaging learning experiences has increased in recent years. We examine of the core principles of serious game design and examine the current use of these principles in computer-based interventions for individuals with autism. Participants who undergo these computer-based interventions often show little evidence of the ability to generalize such learning to novel, everyday social communicative interactions. This lack of generalized learning may result, in part, from the limited use of fundamental elements of serious game design that are known to maximize learning. We suggest that future computer-based interventions should consider the full range of serious game design principles that promote generalization of learning.
Pub.: 10 Dec '14, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: Molecular signatures for predicting breast cancer prognosis could greatly improve care through personalization of treatment. Computational analyses of genome-wide expression datasets have identified such signatures, but these signatures leave much to be desired in terms of accuracy, reproducibility, and biological interpretability. Methods that take advantage of structured prior knowledge (eg, protein interaction networks) show promise in helping to define better signatures, but most knowledge remains unstructured. Crowdsourcing via scientific discovery games is an emerging methodology that has the potential to tap into human intelligence at scales and in modes unheard of before.The main objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that knowledge linking expression patterns of specific genes to breast cancer outcomes could be captured from players of an open, Web-based game. We envisioned capturing knowledge both from the player's prior experience and from their ability to interpret text related to candidate genes presented to them in the context of the game.We developed and evaluated an online game called The Cure that captured information from players regarding genes for use as predictors of breast cancer survival. Information gathered from game play was aggregated using a voting approach, and used to create rankings of genes. The top genes from these rankings were evaluated using annotation enrichment analysis, comparison to prior predictor gene sets, and by using them to train and test machine learning systems for predicting 10 year survival.Between its launch in September 2012 and September 2013, The Cure attracted more than 1000 registered players, who collectively played nearly 10,000 games. Gene sets assembled through aggregation of the collected data showed significant enrichment for genes known to be related to key concepts such as cancer, disease progression, and recurrence. In terms of the predictive accuracy of models trained using this information, these gene sets provided comparable performance to gene sets generated using other methods, including those used in commercial tests. The Cure is available on the Internet.The principal contribution of this work is to show that crowdsourcing games can be developed as a means to address problems involving domain knowledge. While most prior work on scientific discovery games and crowdsourcing in general takes as a premise that contributors have little or no expertise, here we demonstrated a crowdsourcing system that succeeded in capturing expert knowledge.
Pub.: 06 Feb '15, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: Serious games involving virtual patients in medical education can provide a controlled setting within which players can learn in an engaging way, while avoiding the risks associated with real patients. Moreover, serious games align with medical students' preferred learning styles. The Virtual Emergency TeleMedicine (VETM) game is a simulation-based game that was developed in collaboration with the mEducator Best Practice network in response to calls to integrate serious games in medical education and training. The VETM game makes use of data from an electrocardiogram to train practicing doctors, nurses, or medical students for problem-solving in real-life clinical scenarios through a telemedicine system and virtual patients. The study responds to two gaps: the limited number of games in emergency cardiology and the lack of evaluations by professionals.The objective of this study is a quantitative, professional feedback-informed evaluation of one scenario of VETM, involving cardiovascular complications. The study has the following research question: "What are professionals' perceptions of the potential of the Virtual Emergency Telemedicine game for training people involved in the assessment and management of emergency cases?"The evaluation of the VETM game was conducted with 90 professional ambulance crew nursing personnel specializing in the assessment and management of emergency cases. After collaboratively trying out one VETM scenario, participants individually completed an evaluation of the game (36 questions on a 5-point Likert scale) and provided written and verbal comments. The instrument assessed six dimensions of the game: (1) user interface, (2) difficulty level, (3) feedback, (4) educational value, (5) user engagement, and (6) terminology. Data sources of the study were 90 questionnaires, including written comments from 51 participants, 24 interviews with 55 participants, and 379 log files of their interaction with the game.Overall, the results were positive in all dimensions of the game that were assessed as means ranged from 3.2 to 3.99 out of 5, with user engagement receiving the highest score (mean 3.99, SD 0.87). Users' perceived difficulty level received the lowest score (mean 3.20, SD 0.65), a finding which agrees with the analysis of log files that showed a rather low success rate (20.6%). Even though professionals saw the educational value and usefulness of the tool for pre-hospital emergency training (mean 3.83, SD 1.05), they identified confusing features and provided input for improving them.Overall, the results of the professional feedback-informed evaluation of the game provide a strong indication of its potential as an educational tool for emergency training. Professionals' input will serve to improve the game. Further research will aim to validate VETM, in a randomized pre-test, post-test control group study to examine possible learning gains in participants' problem-solving skills in treating a patient's symptoms in an emergency situation.
Pub.: 19 Jun '15, Pinned: 01 Jul '17
Abstract: A serious game is presented which embodies an approach to disease prevention and management that is community-based and incorporates principles of the One Health framework—a broader view of healthcare that encompasses people, animals and the environment. The game focuses specifically on two related neglected and emerging infectious tropical diseases, namely Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) and American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ACL). It seeks to inform and encourage changes in behaviours and attitudes in local populations, while involving multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals and researchers. The design of the learning outcomes, gameplay, client interface, and architecture of the game are discussed in detail, along with the process of collaboration among a team of computer scientists, designers, medical researchers, and practitioners which underpinned the development of the game. An expert study conducted to gather feedback from a multidisciplinary group of participants comprising medical researchers, veterinarians, healthcare service administrators, and community healthcare providers is presented which forms part of our initial assessment of this approach. The results of this study and their implications for the design of similar health-related serious games are also discussed.
Pub.: 02 Dec '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Explicit racial bias has decreased in the United States, but racial stereotypes still exist and conspire in multiple ways to perpetuate the underparticipation of Blacks in science careers. Capitalizing on the potential effectiveness of role-playing video games to promote the type of active learning required to increase awareness of and reduce subtle racial bias, we developed the video game Fair Play, in which players take on the role of Jamal, a Black male graduate student in science, who experiences discrimination in his PhD program. We describe a mixed-methods evaluation of the experience of scientific workforce trainers who played Fair Play at the National Institutes of Health Division of Training Workforce Development and Diversity program directors' meeting in 2013 (n = 47; 76% female, n = 34; 53% nonwhite, n = 26). The evaluation findings suggest that Fair Play can promote perspective taking and increase bias literacy, which are steps toward reducing racial bias and affording Blacks equal opportunities to excel in science.
Pub.: 30 Apr '17, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Little is known about the influence of practice schedules on motor learning and skills transfer in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Understanding how practice schedules affect motor learning is necessary for motor skills development and rehabilitation.The study investigated whether active video games (exergames) training delivered under variable practice led to better learning and transfer than repetitive practice.111 children aged 6-10 years (M=8.0, SD=1.0) with no active exergaming experience were randomized to receive exergames training delivered under variable (Variable Game Group (VGG), n=56) or repetitive practice schedule (Repetitive Game Group (RGG), n=55). Half the participants were identified as DCD using the DSM-5 criteria, while the rest were typically developing (TD), age-matched children. Both groups participated in two 20min sessions per week for 5 weeks.Both participant groups (TD and DCD) improved equally well on game performance. There was no significant difference in positive transfer to balance tasks between practice schedules (Repetitive and Variable) and participant groups (TD and DCD).Children with and without DCD learn balance skills quite well when exposed to exergames. Gains in learning and transfer are similar regardless of the form of practice schedule employed.This is the first paper to compare the effect of practice schedules on learning in children with DCD and those with typical development. No differences in motor learning were found between repetitive and variable practice schedules. When children with and without DCD spend the same amount of time on exergames, they do not show any differences in acquisition of motor skills. Transfer of motor skills is similar in children with and without DCD regardless of differences in practice schedules.
Pub.: 06 Feb '17, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Anesthetic management of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is complex. Given the unequal distributions of liver transplant surgeries performed at different centers, anesthesiology providers receive relatively uneven OLT training and exposure. One well-suited modality for OLT training is the "serious game", an interactive application created for the purpose of imparting knowledge or skills, while leveraging the self-motivating elements of video games. We therefore developed a serious game designed to teach best practices for the anesthetic management of a standard OLT and determined if the game would improve resident performance in a simulated OLT. 44 residents on the liver transplant rotation were randomized to either the Gaming Group (GG) or the Control Group (CG) prior to their introductory simulation. Both groups were given access to the same educational materials and literature during their rotation but the Gaming Group also had access to the OLT Trainer. Performance on the simulations were recorded on a standardized grading rubric. Both groups experienced an increase in score relative to baseline that was statistically significant at every stage. The improvements in scores were greater for the GG participants than the CG participants. Overall score improvement between the GG and CG (Mean (SD)) was statistically significant (GG: 7.95 (3.65), CG: 4.8 (4.48) p=0.02), as were scores for pre-operative assessment (GG: 2.67 (2.09), CG: 1.17 (1.43) p=0.01) and anhepatic phase (GG: 1.62 (1.01), CG: 0.75 (1.28) p=0.02). 81% of residents with game access were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the game overall.Adding a serious game to an existing educational curriculum for liver transplant anesthesia resulted in significant learning gains for rotating anesthesia residents. The intervention was straight-forward to implement and cost-effective. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Pub.: 31 Jan '17, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: The French Military Health Service has standardized its military prehospital care policy in a ''Sauvetage au Combat'' (SC) program (Forward Combat Casualty Care). A major part of the SC training program relies on simulations, which are challenging and costly when dealing with more than 80,000 soldiers. In 2014, the French Military Health Service decided to develop and deploy 3D-SC1, a serious game (SG) intended to train and assess soldiers managing the early steps of SC.The purpose of this paper is to describe the creation and production of 3D-SC1 and to present its deployment.A group of 10 experts and the Paris Descartes University Medical Simulation Department spin-off, Medusims, coproduced 3D-SC1. Medusims are virtual medical experiences using 3D real-time videogame technology (creation of an environment and avatars in different scenarios) designed for educational purposes (training and assessment) to simulate medical situations. These virtual situations have been created based on real cases and tested on mannequins by experts. Trainees are asked to manage specific situations according to best practices recommended by SC, and receive a score and a personalized feedback regarding their performance.The scenario simulated in the SG is an attack on a patrol of 3 soldiers with an improvised explosive device explosion as a result of which one soldier dies, one soldier is slightly stunned, and the third soldier experiences a leg amputation and other injuries. This scenario was first tested with mannequins in military simulation centers, before being transformed into a virtual 3D real-time scenario using a multi-support, multi-operating system platform, Unity. Processes of gamification and scoring were applied, with 2 levels of difficulty. A personalized debriefing was integrated at the end of the simulations. The design and production of the SG took 9 months. The deployment, performed in 3 months, has reached 84 of 96 (88%) French Army units, with a total of 818 hours of connection in the first 3 months.The development of 3D-SC1 involved a collaborative platform with interdisciplinary actors from the French Health Service, a university, and videogame industry. Training each French soldier with simulation exercises and mannequins is challenging and costly. Implementation of SGs into the training program could offer a unique opportunity at a lower cost to improve training and subsequently the real-time performance of soldiers when managing combat casualties; ideally, these should be combined with physical simulations.
Pub.: 20 May '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Learning physics often requires overcoming common misconceptions based on naïve interpretations of observations in the everyday world. One proposed way to help learners build appropriate physics intuitions is to expose them to computer simulations in which motion is based on Newtonian principles. In addition, playing video games that require spatial processing may also facilitate the development of spatial skills that have been associated with learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas. Two studies were conducted to examine whether playing the first-person perspective puzzle game Portal causes improvements in physics intuitions and spatial cognition skills. In Experiment 1, college students played Portal, the two-dimensional puzzle game Tetris, or the anagram game TextTwist for 75 minutes. There were no significant differences on measures of naïve physics reasoning (selected from the Force Concept Inventory) or measures of spatial cognition (mental rotation and perspective taking). To determine whether Portal could influence formal physics learning, in Experiment 2 participants viewed a brief lesson on Newton’s laws of motion after playing one of the three games for 1 hour. The groups did not differ on subsequent tests of physics learning. This study shows that Portal was not successful in priming intuitions about motion or spatial abilities related to physics learning.
Pub.: 14 Mar '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: This paper presents the overall learning process that evolved during the MASCA project (MAnaging System Change in Aviation—EU FP7 funded project (2010–2013), specifically focusing on the one of the key elements of the overall learning approach, the development of a serious game (SKYBOARD) and the role the game played in supporting the implementation of airport collaborative decision-making (A-CDM) in a major European airport. The underlying principles of the learning process was based on ongoing and collaborative learning in the workplace, with each phase of learning involving preparation and guidance, collaborative learning, consolidation of that learning and practically focused next steps that can be deployed to support overall change management. The aim of SKYBOARD was to aid communication and collaboration when introducing A-CDM, and thereby supporting the cultural change that comes with this introduction. The development of SKYBOARD was based upon an initial training needs analysis and an iterative development and implementation approach at a major European airport. The research demonstrated that we are at the beginning of a fundamental shift in the way both learning and working is happening in organisations. Therefore, the establishment of a collaborative learning process and integrated learning package needs to focus on supporting continuous performance improvement and learning (competency and capability at all levels) and to ensure this overall learning is fully aligned to the overall strategic blueprint of the organisation. The evaluation of SKYBOARD demonstrated that serious games can support collaborative learning and enhanced communication and that such games should be key resource in any learning environment and proved to be a highly effective support to the implementation of A-CDM in this case.
Pub.: 15 Aug '14, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: The present study aimed to describe the development process of a serious game that enables users to evaluate the respiratory process in a preterm infant based on an emotional design model. The e-Baby serious game was built to feature the simulated environment of an incubator, in which the user performs a clinical evaluation of the respiratory process in a virtual preterm infant. The user learns about the preterm baby's history, chooses the tools for the clinical evaluation, evaluates the baby, and determines whether his/her evaluation is appropriate. The e-Baby game presents phases that contain respiratory process impairments of higher or lower complexity in the virtual preterm baby. Included links give the user the option of recording the entire evaluation procedure and sharing his/her performance on a social network. e-Baby integrates a Clinical Evaluation of the Preterm Baby course in the Moodle virtual environment. This game, which evaluates the respiratory process in preterm infants, could support a more flexible, attractive, and interactive teaching and learning process that includes simulations with features very similar to neonatal unit realities, thus allowing more appropriate training for clinical oxygenation evaluations in at-risk preterm infants. e-Baby allows advanced user-technology-educational interactions because it requires active participation in the process and is emotionally integrated.
Pub.: 11 Jul '14, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Aging diversity in organizations creates potential challenges, particularly for knowledge management, skills update and skills obsolescence. Intergenerational learning (IGL) involves knowledge building, innovation and knowledge transfer between generations within an organization (Ropes 2011). Serious games refer to the use of computer games in raising awareness about educational topics, acquiring new knowledge and skills by enabling learners to engage and participate in situations that would otherwise be impossible to experience (Corti 2006). Although learning with the use of serious games is similar to traditional learning in several cognitive respects, there are noted differences in the learning style and structure of learning using serious games. The success of learning using serious games lies in the actual involvement of a participant playing the game, which in turn, creates increased cognitive links with real-life situations allowing the individual to make relevant associations, to use mnemonic strategies with the facilitation of multi-dimensional educational aids (e.g., visual, auditory). Some of the beneficial aspects of learning with the use of serious games include the elevation of several cognitive skills, which are directly or indirectly implicated in the learning process. Among them are attention and visuo-spatial abilities, memory and motor skills. However, several barriers have been noted that fall into two general categories: a) health issues (e.g., cognitive strain, headaches) and b) psychological issues (e.g., social isolation, emotional disturbances). Since the training conditions are learner-centered and highly determined by the individual, there is increased need for evaluating the learning outcomes using specific success indicators. Examples of games that are designed to facilitate IGL are scarce, while there are no examples of IGL games in most EU countries. The purpose of this paper is to critically evaluate the current literature of theories on learning through serious games in adults and the elderly with reference to the cognitive mechanisms implicated, benefits and barriers in learning using new technologies in different generations. Secondly, this paper reviews the existence of serious games designed to facilitate IGL in Europe, as well as the characteristics of serious games in raising awareness that could be used to facilitate IGL. In doing so, specific focus is placed on the development of success indicators that determine the effectiveness of serious games on raising awareness on IGL.
Pub.: 16 Apr '14, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Serious gaming is the use of game principles for the purposes of learning, skill acquisition, and training. Higher education is beginning to incorporate serious gaming into curricula, and health professions education is the most common area for serious game use. Advantages of serious gaming in pharmacy education include authentic, situated learning without risk of patient consequences, collaborative learning, ability to challenge students of all performance levels, high student motivation with increased time on task, immediate feedback, ability to learn from mistakes without becoming discouraged, and potential for behavior and attitude change. Development of quality games for pharmacy education requires content expertise as well as expertise in the science and design of gaming. When well done, serious gaming provides a valuable additional tool for pharmacy education.
Pub.: 20 Jun '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Despite its relevance, formative research on games may be an undervalued part of the game development process. At the 2014 International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity exergaming preconference satellite meeting, a roundtable discussion was held to assemble experiences and suggestions on enhancing the use of formative research in the development of active videogames (i.e., exergames). This article presents a summary of the concepts discussed. The discussants concluded that, although formative research may slightly expand the project timeline, the potential benefits include a game more in line with preferences of the intended users, with better operationalized theoretical constructs and broader stakeholder support, facilitating implementation and sustainability. It also improves the efficiency of other research parts because of a lower dropout rate of participants. Formative, qualitative research is thus a necessary complement to quantitative measurements of intervention outcomes, in a sort of Yin and Yang dynamic. An adapted version of formative research that casts a wider net may, however, be needed, involving both behavioral scientists and game developers, expanding the topics beyond the game's looks and soliciting the opinions of a larger group of stakeholders, such as implementers, gatekeepers, and funders.
Pub.: 17 Jul '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Active videogames have the potential to enhance population levels of physical activity but have not been successful in achieving this aim to date. This article considers a range of principles that may be important to the design of effective and efficient active videogames from diverse discipline areas, including behavioral sciences (health behavior change, motor learning, and serious games), business production (marketing and sales), and technology engineering and design (human-computer interaction/ergonomics and flow). Both direct and indirect pathways to impact on population levels of habitual physical activity are proposed, along with the concept of a game use lifecycle. Examples of current active and sedentary electronic games are used to understand how such principles may be applied. Furthermore, limitations of the current usage of theoretical principles are discussed. A suggested list of principles for best practice in active videogame design is proposed along with suggested research ideas to inform practice to enhance physical activity.
Pub.: 17 Jul '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: This research aims to systematically review the empirical studies on the use of serious games in science education from 2002 to 2013. To this end, the Science Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index databases were used as the literature sources and a total of 53 empirical studies were identified as the review targets. A coding scheme including three major dimensions, namely, the game, pedagogy and research method dimensions, was developed, and, with this coding scheme, a series of content analyses were conducted. These analyses identified several significant research trends among the empirical studies using serious games in science education published from 2002 to 2013, including the following: (1) a surge of interest in the use of serious games in science education was revealed; (2) adventure/role-playing games were the most popular game type used in the reviewed empirical studies; (3) knowledge construction was the major learning goal of these serious games used in science educational settings; (4) most of the reviewed studies were concerned with interdisciplinary learning; (5) relatively fewer studies explicitly introduced the educational theoretical foundations for using serious games in science education or the instructional strategies coupled with the use of serious games; (6) quantitative research designs constituted the most commonly used research approach; and (7) a majority of the reviewed studies focused on investigating the effectiveness of serious games from the perspective of cognitive outcomes. The educational implications and directions for further research derived from the findings of this study are further discussed.
Pub.: 19 Jul '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Finding effective training interventions for declining cognitive abilities in healthy aging is of great relevance, especially in view of the demographic development. Since it is assumed that transfer from the trained to untrained domains is more likely to occur when training conditions and transfer measures share a common underlying process, multi-domain training of several cognitive functions should increase the likelihood of such an overlap. In the first part, we give an overview of the literature showing that cognitive training using complex tasks, such as video games, leisure activities, or practicing a series of cognitive tasks, has shown promising results regarding transfer to a number of cognitive functions. These studies, however, do not allow direct inference about the underlying functions targeted by these training regimes. Custom-designed serious games allow to design training regimes according to specific cognitive functions and a target population's need. In the second part, we introduce the serious game Hotel Plastisse as an iPad-based training tool for older adults that allows the comparison of the simultaneous training of spatial navigation, visuomotor function, and inhibition to the training of each of these functions separately. Hotel Plastisse not only defines the cognitive functions of the multi-domain training clearly, but also implements training in an interesting learning environment including adaptive difficulty and feedback. We propose this novel training tool with the goal of furthering our understanding of how training regimes should be designed in order to affect cognitive functioning of older adults most broadly.
Pub.: 11 Aug '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: The need for engaging treatment approaches within mental health care has led to the application of gaming approaches to existing behavioral training programs (i.e., gamification). Because children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to have fewer problems with concentration and engagement when playing digital games, applying game technologies and design approaches to complement treatment may be a useful means to engage this population in their treatment. Unfortunately, gamified training programs currently available for ADHD have been limited in their ability to demonstrate in-game behavior skills that generalize to daily life situations. Therefore, we developed a new serious game (called "Plan-It Commander") that was specifically designed to promote behavioral learning and promotes strategy use in domains of daily life functioning such as time management, planning/organizing, and prosocial skills that are known to be problematic for children with ADHD. An interdisciplinary team contributed to the development of the game. The game's content and approach are based on psychological principles from the Self-Regulation Model, Social Cognitive Theory, and Learning Theory. In this article, game development and the scientific background of the behavioral approach are described, as well as results of a survey (n = 42) to gather user feedback on the first prototype of the game. The findings suggest that participants were satisfied with this game and provided the basis for further development and research to the game. Implications for developing serious games and applying user feedback in game development are discussed.
Pub.: 02 Sep '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Thanks to the increasing availability of consumer head-mounted displays, educational applications of immersive VR could now reach to the general public, especially if they include gaming elements (immersive serious games). Safety education of citizens could be a particularly promising domain for immersive serious games, because people tend not to pay attention to and benefit from current safety materials. In this paper, we propose an HMD-based immersive game for educating passengers about aviation safety that allows players to experience a serious aircraft emergency with the goal of surviving it. We compare the proposed approach to a traditional aviation safety education method (the safety card) used by airlines. Unlike most studies of VR for safety knowledge acquisition, we do not focus only on assessing learning immediately after the experience but we extend our attention to knowledge retention over a longer time span. This is a fundamental requirement, because people need to retain safety procedures in order to apply them when faced with danger. A knowledge test administered before, immediately after and one week after the experimental condition showed that the immersive serious game was superior to the safety card. Moreover, subjective as well as physiological measurements employed in the study showed that the immersive serious game was more engaging and fear-arousing than the safety card, a factor that can contribute to explain the obtained superior retention, as we discuss in the paper.
Pub.: 12 Sep '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Internet interventions for improving health and well-being have the potential to reach many people and fill gaps in service provision. Serious gaming interfaces provide opportunities to optimize user adherence and impact. Health interventions based in theory and evidence and tailored to psychological constructs have been found to be more effective to promote behavior change. Defining the design elements which engage users and help them to meet their goals can contribute to better informed serious games.To elucidate design elements important in SPARX, a serious game for adolescents with depression, from a user-centered perspective.We proposed a model based on an established theory of health behavior change and practical features of serious game design to organize ideas and rationale. We analyzed data from 5 studies comprising a total of 22 focus groups and 66 semistructured interviews conducted with youth and families in New Zealand and Australia who had viewed or used SPARX. User perceptions of the game were applied to this framework.A coherent framework was established using the three constructs of self-determination theory (SDT), autonomy, competence, and relatedness, to organize user perceptions and design elements within four areas important in design: computer game, accessibility, working alliance, and learning in immersion. User perceptions mapped well to the framework, which may assist developers in understanding the context of user needs. By mapping these elements against the constructs of SDT, we were able to propose a sound theoretical base for the model.This study's method allowed for the articulation of design elements in a serious game from a user-centered perspective within a coherent overarching framework. The framework can be used to deliberately incorporate serious game design elements that support a user's sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, key constructs which have been found to mediate motivation at all stages of the change process. The resulting model introduces promising avenues for future exploration. Involving users in program design remains an imperative if serious games are to be fit for purpose.
Pub.: 07 Nov '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: High rates of sedentary behaviors in older adults can lead to poor health outcomes. However, new technologies, namely exercise-based videogames ("exergames"), may provide ways of stimulating uptake and ongoing participation in physical activities. Older adults' perceptions of the use of technology to improve health are not known.The study aimed to determine use and perceptions of technology before and after using a 5-week exergame.Focus groups determined habitual use of technology and the participant's perceptions of technology to assist with health and physical activity. Surveys were developed to quantitatively measure these perceptions and were administered before and after a 5-week intervention. The intervention was an exergame that focused on postural balance ("Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012"). Games scores, rates of game participation, and enjoyment were also recorded.A total of 24 healthy participants aged between 55 and 82 years (mean 70, SD 6 years) indicated that after the intervention there was an increased awareness that technology (in the form of exergames) can assist with maintaining physical activity (P<.001). High levels of enjoyment (Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale [PACES-8] score mean 53.0, SE 0.7) and participation rates over the whole study (83%-100%) were recorded.Older adults' have low perception of the use of technology for improving health outcomes until after exposure to exergames. Technology, in the form of enjoyable exergames, may be useful for improving participation in physical activity that is relevant for older adults.
Pub.: 29 Nov '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: In Serious Games (SGs), educational content is integrated into a game so that learning is intrinsic to play, thereby motivating players and improving engagement. SGs enable learning by developing situated understanding in users and by enabling players to practise safe clinical decision making; however, the use of SGs in medical education is not well established.Aims: We aimed to design a game‐based resource to teach clinical decision making to medical students, and to assess user perceptions of educational value, usability and the role for SGs in undergraduate training.An SG focusing on the acute management of tachyarrhythmias was developed. Third‐ and fourth‐year medical students at the medical school were invited to use and evaluate the game using questionnaires and focus groups.We invited 479 students, and 281 accessed the game. Only 47 students completed the questionnaire and 31 students participated in the focus groups. The data suggest that SGs: (1) can allow students to rehearse taking responsibility for decision making; (2) are fun and motivational; (3) have a role in revising and consolidating knowledge; and (4) could be formative assessment tools.Serous Games enable learning by developing situated understanding in usersSGs could be employed as adjuvant learning resources to develop students’ skills and knowledge. Further empirical research is required to assess the added value of games in medical education.
Pub.: 27 Jul '15, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: There has been considerable interest in examining the educational potential of playing video games. One crucial element, however, has traditionally been left out of these discussions-namely, children's learning through making their own games. In this article, we review and synthesize 55 studies from the last decade on making games and learning. We found that the majority of studies focused on teaching coding and academic content through game making, and that few studies explicitly examined the roles of collaboration and identity in the game making process. We argue that future discussions of serious gaming ought to be more inclusive of constructionist approaches to realize the full potential of serious gaming. Making games, we contend, not only more genuinely introduces children to a range of technical skills but also better connects them to each other, addressing the persistent issues of access and diversity present in traditional digital gaming cultures.
Pub.: 29 Mar '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Serious games for safety education (SGSE) are a novel tool for preparing people to prevent and\or handle risky situations. Although several SGSE have been developed, design and evaluation methods for SGSE need to be better grounded in and guided by safety-relevant psychological theories. In particular, this paper focuses on threat appeals and the assessment of variables, such as safety locus of control, that influence human behavior in real risky situations. It illustrates how we took into account such models in the design and evaluation of "Learn to Brace", a first-of-its-kind serious game that deals with a major problem in aviation safety, i.e. the scarce effectiveness of the safety cards used by airlines. The study considered a sample of 48 users: half of them received instructions about the brace position through the serious game, the other half through a traditional safety card pictorial. Results showed that the serious game was much more effective than the traditional instructions both in terms of learning and of changing safety-relevant perceptions, especially safety locus of control and recommendation perception.
Pub.: 06 Apr '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Video games and virtual environments continue to be the subject of research in health sciences for their capacity to augment practice through user engagement. Creating game mechanics that increase user engagement may have indirect benefits on learning (ie, engaged learners are likely to practice more) and may also have direct benefits on learning (ie, for a fixed amount of practice, engaged learners show superior retention of information or skills).To manipulate engagement through the aesthetic features of a motion-controlled video game and measure engagement's influence on learning.A group of 40 right-handed participants played the game under two different conditions (game condition or sterile condition). The mechanics of the game and the amount of practice were constant. During practice, event-related potentials (ERPs) to task-irrelevant probe tones were recorded during practice as an index of participants' attentional reserve. Participants returned for retention and transfer testing one week later.Although both groups improved in the task, there was no difference in the amount of learning between the game and sterile groups, countering previous research. A new finding was a statistically significant relationship between self-reported engagement and the amplitude of the early-P3a (eP3a) component of the ERP waveform, such that participants who reported higher levels of engagement showed a smaller eP3a (beta=-.08, P=.02).This finding provides physiological data showing that engagement elicits increased information processing (reducing attentional reserve), which yields new insight into engagement and its underlying neurophysiological properties. Future studies may objectively index engagement by quantifying ERPs (specifically the eP3a) to task-irrelevant probes.
Pub.: 23 Apr '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17
Abstract: Research into educational technology has evaluated new computer‐based systems as tools for improving students’ academic performance and engagement. Serious games should also be considered as an alternative pedagogical medium for attracting students with different needs and expectations. In this field study, we empirically examined different forms of serious‐game use for learning on learning performance and attitudes of eighty 13‐year‐old students in the first grade of middle school. Divided into four groups of 20 students, each group practiced with a maths video game in three ways. The first group played the storytelling maths game, the second played the same game but with no story and the third played and modified the video game. Finally, a control group practised in a paper‐based (traditional) way by solving exercises. Although only minor differences in learning performance were identified, we found significant differences in the attitudes of the students toward learning through the video game. Students who are not motivated by conventional paper‐based assignments might be engaged better with the use of a video game. Our findings suggest that video game pedagogy could provide malleable learning for different groups of students using methods that move beyond the conventional tool‐based approach.A video abstract of this article can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kec_mSG-dE.
Pub.: 29 Apr '16, Pinned: 30 Jun '17