The Principal Characteristics of a Serious Game to Ensure Its Effective Design

Ben Amara Besma Sellami Hedia Mhiri Ben Said Amjed
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Serious games (SG) adoption increased in multiple fields. As a first step towards a global SG design approach, it is crucial to characterize the game intended. However, there is still a lack of what the principal and necessary characteristics are to specify SG. This paper explores SG Characteristics (SGCs) to bridge this gap by first analyzing features from SG studies in different domains (education, health, business) and purposes (SG classification, learning impacts, design, and evaluation), then identifying shared features. The findings showed 12 high-level abstraction classes of characteristics, which we named Common SGCs (CSGCs), reducing features overlapping and describing the general structure of the game. The CSGCs set serves as a foundation for SG design and reusability. It also provides the main criteria for SG classification and evaluation. Designers could implement CSGCs by matching each one of them with related concrete game mechanics plethora. We present future research directions in the scope of the SG design approach using the CSGCs proposal.


Accessible Design of Serious Games for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Inclusive Vocational Education

Batz Victoria Lipowski Inga Morfeld Matthias Hansen Christian Herzog Michael A.
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

People with disabilities are often denied the opportunity to obtain a vocational qualification. There is a lack of an appropriate infrastructure for an inclusive education system and recognized degrees. Therefore, didactic methods for inclusive learning situations are needed. This paper describes the user-centered development and evaluation of a serious game for inclusive vocational training in kitchen professions. The theoretical teaching content in the module “hygiene” is taught to people with and without cognitive impairments using a gamified learning application. The prototype was evaluated with 22 participants when used in an inclusive teaching setting with a mixed-methods design. The learning application caused an increase in motivation and the knowledge quiz achieved good results across all target groups (15 trainee cooks, 4 trainees as kitchen assistants, 3 employees of the sheltered workshop). The results from questioning, learning quiz, observation, and video analysis form design guidelines for future digital, interactive teaching methods for inclusive vocational education.


Social aspects in game accessibility research: a literature review

Hassan Lobna Baltzar Pauliina
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Games and game-based applications are part of entertainment, learning, socialization, and many other daily life activities. They have become a key part of the social fabric of our societies, nonetheless, social aspects in games and game-based applications have received little attention, meaning that these game technologies often remain inaccessible to people with disabilities, especially within social use contexts. This study is a literature review of research on game accessibility (2016 -2020 inclusive) to investigate social aspects in game accessibility literature, The findings indicate the scarcity of research primarily investigating social themes. Individuals with disabilities differ in their social accessibility challenges and needs based on the type of disability they have. The lack of conscious research on social aspects of game accessibility threatens to further the exclusion of people with disabilities from gaming and related activities and this study provides directions for further research of social themes.


Design of a Serious Game for Cybersecurity Ethics Training

Ryan Malcolm McEwan Mitchell Sansare Vedant Formosa Paul Richards Deborah Hitchens Michael
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Serious moral games offer a tool for moral development that can help players translate ‘head knowledge’ of ethical principles into habits of everyday practice. In this paper, we present the design process behind one such game: Prescott & Krueger, a serious game for training information technology students in cybersecurity ethics. Our design draws on the Four Component Model of moral intelligence and the Morality Play model for serious moral game design. We reflect on how these models influenced our design process. The Four Component Model proved a useful set of lenses for developing learning outcomes and game narrative and mechanics, however the more prescriptive Morality Play model was more difficult to apply as the development of a sophisticated ‘moral toy’ required modelling both low-level cybersecurity systems and high-level ethical interpretations. We reflect on the broader implications of this problem for serious moral game design.


Creating Meaningful Games through Values-Driven Design Principles

Jerrett Adam Howell Peter Dansey Neil
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

The interactivity present in games makes them useful vehicles for the exploration of various concepts outside of “finding the fun”. Empathy games – games that are developed to educate and encourage empathetic responses from players about a scenario – are one such example. However, the notion of empathy game design overlaps with other tangential design theories like emotional game design, radical game design, and critical game design. These theories often overlap but are difficult to discover because of their different naming conventions. To assist designers, this paper discusses design principles from these and other similar game design frameworks. Using these, it presents a consolidated set of design principles and considerations that can be applied to game projects. These principles are presented to inspire future design work to explore lesser-known experiences, in the hopes of being more inclusive of, and more meaningful to, a diverse player base.


MeWare for Sale: Developer’s Approaches to Serious Mobile Music Games

Pierce Charlotte Woodward Clinton J. Bartel Anthony
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Music students face a highly complex task with a significant cognitive load. Serious games are one teaching tool used to manage this complexity, as they have been found to increase student’s engagement and foster self-regulated, independent learning behaviours. In this paper we examine serious music games on the mobile iOS platform. We particularly focus on how developers approach the creation and publication of these games. To this end, we look at the design and development of serious music games, including their development histories, revenue models, user management models, and data management models. We then frame these characteristics in terms of the type of software the games represent, which indicates how and if users were considered during development. Our findings provide valuable insight into the field of serious music games, in understanding how the current state of the field came to be and how it might evolve in the future.