Mapping learning and game mechanics for serious games analysis

S. Arnab, T. Lim, M. Brandao Carvalho, F. Bellotti, S. De Freitas, S. Louchart, N. Suttie, R. Berta, A. De Gloria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)
1965 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Although there is a consensus on the instructional potential of Serious Games (SGs), there is still a lack of methodologies and tools not only for design but also to support analysis and assessment. Filling this gap is one of the main aims of the Games and Learning Alliance (http://www.galanoe.eu) European Network of Excellence on Serious Games, which has a focus upon pedagogy-driven SGs. This paper relies on the assumption that the fundamental aspect of SG design consists in the translation of learning goals/practices into mechanical element of gameplay, serving to an instructional purpose beside that of play and fun. This paper proposes the Learning Mechanics–Game Mechanics (LM-GM) model, which supports SG analysis and design by allowing reflection on the various pedagogical and game elements in an SG. The LM-GM model includes a set of pre-defined game mechanics and pedagogical elements that we have abstracted from literature on game studies and learning theories. Designers and analysts can exploit these mechanics to draw the LM-GM map for a game, so as to identify and highlight its main pedagogical and entertainment features, and their interrelations. The tool may also be useful for teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of a given game and better understand how to implement it in educational settings. A case study is reported to illustrate the framework's support in determining how gameplay and pedagogy intertwine in an SG. Finally, the paper presents the results of two comparative user tests demonstrating the advantages of the proposed model with respect to a similar state-of-the-art framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-411
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping learning and game mechanics for serious games analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Arnab, S., Lim, T., Brandao Carvalho, M., Bellotti, F., De Freitas, S., Louchart, S., ... De Gloria, A. (2015). Mapping learning and game mechanics for serious games analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 391-411. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12113