An Evaluation of the Added Value of Co-Design in the Development of an Educational Game for Road Safety

An Evaluation of the Added Value of Co-Design in the Development of an Educational Game for Road Safety

Anissa All (Department of Communication Sciences, iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium), Jan Van Looy (Department of Communication Sciences, iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium) and Elena Patricia Nuñez Castellar (Department of Communication Sciences, iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2013010101
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Abstract

This study explores the added value of co-design in addition to other innovation research methods in the process of developing a serious game design document for a road safety game. The sessions aimed at exploring 4 aspects of a location-based game experience: themes, game mechanics, mobile phone applications and locations for mini-games. In total, 72 adolescents between 15 and 18 years participated in five co-design sessions lead by a researcher and a professional game designer. The sessions provided useful input regarding the aspects the authors wished to explore. The sessions were especially useful in gathering input on scoring systems, ways to give instructions about next tasks and organizing level systems. In sum, their study indicates that co-design can be a source of additional ideas on top of other research methods such as state of the art analysis and expert consultation and thus lead to more effective interactive content creation.
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Serious Games Design

From the perspective of these adolescents gaming is primarily seen as entertainment. However, several authors agree that a lot of games are intrinsically based on learning principles (Van Eck, 2006). To make progress in the game one needs to rely on knowledge gathered or skills learned in earlier stages of the game (Kelly et al., 2007). Games challenge players to solve problems and offer them the opportunity to learn by doing, letting them experiment, fail and try again until they succeed while they constantly receive feedback on their progress. This claim is associated with the constructivist or experiential perspective on learning. Several game researchers and theorists have used experiential learning theory to understand game-based learning. As people play they encounter obstacles, need to solve problems and gain understanding of the, at times highly complex, game system to make progress. Authors such as Garris, Ahlers and Driskell (2002) and Ulrich (1997) refer to the game cycle of continuously adjusting action to feedback given during game play and to the combination of game play and reflection as ways in which the learning process takes place.

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