Present or Play: The Effect of Serious Gaming on Demonstrated Behaviour

Present or Play: The Effect of Serious Gaming on Demonstrated Behaviour

Tom van Dijk, Ton Spil, Sanne van der Burg, Ivo Wenzler, Simon Dalmolen
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2015040104
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Serious gaming is one of the newest developments in the world of learning and is gaining increasing attention within the business environment. Although many practitioners claim that serious gaming has more impact on demonstrated behaviour of trainees when compared to common presentations, little evidence exists. In this paper, the authors present an experiment that builds a foundation for proving that serious gaming is more effective than presentations in ensuring people demonstrate a specific set of behaviours within a training setting. The experiment involved addressing the same content a number of times by either holding a presentation or playing a serious game. Consequently, participants' behaviour was measured within a business simulation environment. Results demonstrate that experiencing failure is an important element of learning and that most learning occurs during a game debriefing when participants reflect on their experiences. The importance of learning elements like goal setting, feedback and challenge is demonstrated as well.
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As a start, there was a need to establish a theoretical foundation for this research based on serious gaming and learning literature. The serious gaming literature would enhance the understanding of what is currently known about this topic and help explain the relevance of this research, while the learning literature would help explain different views on learning and serve as a theoretical basis for comparing a serious game with a presentation.

As a first step, the relevant and available serious gaming literature was identified. A systematic literature review was conducted according to the method of Wolfswinkel, Furtmueller, and Wilderom (2011), using the ‘Social Sciences & Humanities’ database of Scopus. Search terms used were games or gaming or serious games or serious gaming. Additional search was done on learning or behaviour or knowledge or training.

In total 433 articles were found. After filtering out doubles, reading abstracts and full text articles, and applying forward and backward citation, 12 articles remained in total. The analysis of these 12 articles has been used as the core of this chapter.

To gain a better understanding on how a learning effect can be created by serious gaming, the learning elements that can be included in a serious game have been examined. These elements are distilled from the articles found. An overview of these elements is shown in Table 1.

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