Digital Educational Games: Methodologies for Evaluating the Impact of Game Type

2020-03-30T14:59:10Z (GMT) by L Law S Heintz
Our main research question is how the choice of game type influences the success of digital educational games (DEG), where success is defined as significant domain-specific knowledge gain (learning outcome) with positive player experience. We propose a methodological framework to address this question. The comparison of different game types is based on the previously developed Game Elements-Attributes Model (GEAM) and the Game Genre Map which summarize game features and their relations. In addition, we present a research model considering the impact of player characteristics on learning outcome and player experience as well as their interrelation. Two empirical studies were conducted with 280 students. The application domain was computer programming. Study 1 compared three DEGs of the Mini-game genre, differing in a single GEAM attribute - time pressure vs. puzzle solving and abstract vs. realistic settings. Study 2 compared DEGs of different genres which vary in the implementation of several GEAM attributes. None of the player characteristics were found to be statistically significant factors. For both studies, significant differences were found in learning outcomes, for Study 2 also in some of the player experience dimensions. GEAM was demonstrated as a promising framework for games user research.

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