Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020) | Viewed by 88008

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
FEUP Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: computer graphics; digital games; gamification; geospatial systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Interests: learning technologies; game-based learning; serious games; e-learning; multimedia
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Education is evolving to overcome new challenges related to the unique competencies of the professionals of the future and the requirements of a new generation that is immersed in the digital media world from birth. Digital Games is one of the media that have the potential to reach these two objectives.

Game-based learning is the scientific area that focuses on the development of games that are designed over specific learning objectives. From thoroughly crafted educational games to the use of gamification, the new era of the school will be digital. However, we should not forget tangential learning with the use of entertainment games.

Mobile games are also leveraging a large community of gamers that relies on the specifics of mobile technology, such as ubiquity and pervasiveness. The solutions can leverage informal learning, literacy, science communication, and citizenship, among a vast area of applications.

The aim of this Special Issue is to disclose the new advances in game-based learning and mobile games that can enhance the effectiveness and outreach of learning objects. 

Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Game-based learning;
  • Serious games;
  • Mobile games;
  • Pervasive games;
  • Learning models and practices with the use of games;
  • New technologies for game-based learning:
    • Virtual and augmented reality;
    • New interaction devices, toys, and playthings;
    • Simulations;
    • 3D rendering technologies;
    • Game engines and development tools;
    • Location-based games;
    • Artificial intelligence;
    • Educational games analytics;
  • Assessment and evaluation of educational games;
  • User experience design;
  • The psychology of educational games;
  • Gender and age issues;
  • Social and collaborative games;
  • Security and confidentiality in educational games;
  • Case studies in educational games;
  • Game development for mobile devices.

Dr. António Coelho
Dr. Carlos Vaz de Carvalho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Game-based learning
  • Mobile games
  • Serious games
  • Pervasive games
  • Game Design and development
  • User experience
  • Assessment and evaluation

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 1763 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential of Gamification to Improve Seniors’ Experience and Use of Technology
by Michael Minge and Dietlind Helene Cymek
Information 2020, 11(5), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11050249 - 2 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4540
Abstract
A non-negligible proportion of seniors rarely uses new technology. Far too often, these rather tech unexperienced seniors struggle with new soft- or hard-ware, that do not provide easy access. As a result, some seniors avoid or completely desist to further use “these modern [...] Read more.
A non-negligible proportion of seniors rarely uses new technology. Far too often, these rather tech unexperienced seniors struggle with new soft- or hard-ware, that do not provide easy access. As a result, some seniors avoid or completely desist to further use “these modern technologies” and consequently miss out on the benefits of digital age. Game-inspired design is supposed to be a promising way to overcome some perceived barriers of seniors by providing hedonic value during early interaction. Previous research has shown that game-inspired design is suitable to motivate seniors’ use of Health-IT. To investigate its potential to facilitate the use of information and communication technology (ICT), an experimental study was conducted. The study investigated the appeal of various gamification features, which were embedded in a prototype of an ICT learning software and compared it to a non-gamified version of the software. Results indicate that the concept of gamified ICT learning software appeals to seniors in general, but that the acceptance of different gamification features is quite diverse. A clear-cut superiority of adding gamification to the software was not found. After interacting with both software versions, seniors in around equal parts preferred either the non-gamified version, the gamified version, or could not decide. Those seniors that clearly favored the gamified version were particularly fond of continuous positive feedback and receiving rewards for each task they have accomplished. Whereas the remaining seniors rather disliked the intensive endorsement through these two features and decided against the gamified version, albeit they liked many of the other game features. Our results underline the necessity of following a user-centered design approach when developing game-inspired applications, and the need for an individualized use of gamification elements to meet the needs of the heterogeneous group of senior users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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11 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Antonyms: A Computer Game to Improve Inhibitory Control of Impulsivity in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Maura Crepaldi, Vera Colombo, Stefano Mottura, Davide Baldassini, Marco Sacco, Alice Cancer and Alessandro Antonietti
Information 2020, 11(4), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11040230 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 7228
Abstract
The design of a computer-supported serious game concerning inhibition skills in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is reported. The game consists of a series of activities, each eliciting the tendency to respond in an immediate, inadequate way. The game is based on [...] Read more.
The design of a computer-supported serious game concerning inhibition skills in children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is reported. The game consists of a series of activities, each eliciting the tendency to respond in an immediate, inadequate way. The game is based on the Dual Pathway Model of ADHD proposed by Sonuga-Barke. In the game, children must block impulsive tendencies, reflect upon the situation, inhibit irrelevant thoughts, and find the non-intuitive solution. In the game, the player personifies a superhero, who is asked to save a realm on the opposite side of the Earth (Antonyms) where things happen according to the opposite of the usual rules. The hero faces a series of challenges, in the form of mini-games, to free the planet from enemies crossing different scenarios. To succeed in the game, the player should change his/her attitude by thinking before performing any action rather than acting on impulse. The player is induced to be reflective and thoughtful as well. Results from the evaluation of a preliminary version of the serious game are reported. They support the notion that Antonyms is an adequate tool to lead children to inhibit their tendency to behave impulsively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
16 pages, 698 KiB  
Article
Games on Mobiles via Web or Virtual Reality Technologies: How to Support Learning for Biomedical Laboratory Science Education
by Tord Hettervik Frøland, Ilona Heldal, Gry Sjøholt and Elisabeth Ersvær
Information 2020, 11(4), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11040195 - 5 Apr 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4396
Abstract
Simulations, serious games, and virtual reality (SSG) applications represent promising support for achieving practical proficiency, but it is difficult to know how to introduce them into a new environment. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of introducing new SSGs to [...] Read more.
Simulations, serious games, and virtual reality (SSG) applications represent promising support for achieving practical proficiency, but it is difficult to know how to introduce them into a new environment. This paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of introducing new SSGs to a non-computer related educational environment—biomedical laboratory science (BLS) education. By following the choice, construction, and evaluation of a gamified app for practicing phlebotomy (StikkApp), not only the usefulness of the application, but also the general needs and possibilities for supporting SSG applications, are discussed. This paper presents the evaluation of StikkApp through an experimental study examining its use on mobile devices, as a web app and by discussing challenges for a corresponding virtual reality app by BLS students and their teachers. This evaluation focused on questions concerning usage scenarios, technologies, and how the design of the app can be aligned to learning goals necessary for education. By discussing these requirements and possibilities for apps and technology support for using SSG apps for BLS students, this paper contributes to a better understanding of using digital support for sustainable education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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18 pages, 2641 KiB  
Article
Techniques to Motivate Learner Improvement in Game-Based Assessment
by Angeliki Leonardou, Maria Rigou and John Garofalakis
Information 2020, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11040176 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5318
Abstract
Learner motivation to self-improve is a crucial effectiveness factor in all modes and settings of learning. Game-based learning was long used for attracting and maintaining students’ interest especially in small ages, deploying means such as scoring, timing, scores of peers (i.e., hall of [...] Read more.
Learner motivation to self-improve is a crucial effectiveness factor in all modes and settings of learning. Game-based learning was long used for attracting and maintaining students’ interest especially in small ages, deploying means such as scoring, timing, scores of peers (i.e., hall of fame), etc. These techniques can provide recognition for high-scoring players, while also developing a sense of safe “distance” in the impersonal electronic environment for low-scoring players. In addition, constructive feedback on mistakes a player makes can contribute to avoiding similar mistakes in the future, thus achieving better performance in the game, while constructing valuable new knowledge when a knowledge gap is detected. This paper investigates an integrated approach to designing, implementing, and using an adaptive game for assessing and gradually improving multiplication skills. Student motivation is fostered by incorporating the Open Learner Model approach, which exposes part of the underlying user model to the students in a graphically simplified manner that is easily perceivable and offers a clear picture of student performance. In addition, the Open Learner Model is expanded with visualizations of social comparison information, where students can access the progress of anonymous peers and summative class scores for improving self-reflection and fostering self-regulated learning. This paper also presents the feedback received by the preliminary testing of the game and discusses the effect of assessing multiplication skills of primary school pupils using the adaptive game-based approach on increasing pupil motivation to self-improve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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28 pages, 1370 KiB  
Article
Challenges of Developing a Mobile Game for Children with Down Syndrome to Test Gestural Interface
by Lizie Sancho Nascimento, Nelson Zagalo and Laura Bezerra Martins
Information 2020, 11(3), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030159 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3584
Abstract
After a literature review published by Nascimento et. al. (2017), the research team noticed the lack of studies focused on game controllers’ accessibility during use by children with Down syndrome. In view of that, this research describes a mobile game development and its [...] Read more.
After a literature review published by Nascimento et. al. (2017), the research team noticed the lack of studies focused on game controllers’ accessibility during use by children with Down syndrome. In view of that, this research describes a mobile game development and its usability analyses, which were created to evaluate the accessibility of touchscreen gestural interfaces. The methodology was organized into three steps: bibliographic research and the definition of the project guidelines, the game development, and its evaluation. The guidelines used were based on a study made by Nascimento et. al. (2019) of the impairments that children can have, their game preferences found on Prena’s article (2014), games accessibility guidelines for people with intellectual deficiency from the Includification Book (2012), a manual of touchscreen gestural interfaces from Android and iOS and a game development framework from Schuytema (2008). Then, for the usability analyses, the team decided to first submit the game to a group of experts in order to make some improvements before submitting it to the audience. In this way, two evaluations were done, a heuristic test with usability specialists and a cognitive walkthrough with health professionals. The list of heuristics used on the tests was created by a mash up of the Breyer evaluation (2008) and the recommendations of the Able Games Association (2012) and the cognitive one followed the Preece, Sharp and Rogers (2007) recommendations. The results found reveal some challenges in the field and adjustments, mainly in the narrative, game goals and interface feedback, that should be addressed as soon as possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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27 pages, 6185 KiB  
Article
Playful Learning with a Location-Based Digital Card Environment: A Promising Tool for Informal, Non-Formal, and Formal Learning
by Olga De Troyer, Jan Maushagen, Renny Lindberg and David Breckx
Information 2020, 11(3), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030157 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4435
Abstract
Most people are using their smartphones daily and carry them all the time. Therefore, mobile learning applications can be integrated in daily routines to make learning a part of daily life. While numerous mobile learning applications exist, each with their own goal, our [...] Read more.
Most people are using their smartphones daily and carry them all the time. Therefore, mobile learning applications can be integrated in daily routines to make learning a part of daily life. While numerous mobile learning applications exist, each with their own goal, our aim was to explore the possibility of creating an engaging mobile environment that could be useful for informal learning, as well as for other forms of learning, i.e., non-formal and formal learning. The result is TICKLE, a playful learning environment for youngsters. It is a mobile location-based smartphone application that offers youngsters an interactive environment for exploring their surroundings. It offers cards related to physical locations, which can be collected by performing small challenges (based on the principles of micro learning). A design science research approach has been used to develop this software environment. Persuasive techniques and gamification are used to stimulate usage. Furthermore, a personalized approach is applied. The environment was evaluated by means of formative evaluations in different contexts. We obtained positive results and received useful feedback to improve and extend the application. We can conclude that, in the context of these evaluations, the app was usable for youngsters and able to engage them, and we see indications that it may be able to increase the intrinsic motivation and learning capacity of youngsters. In addition, our demonstrations show that the app is usable in different contexts and for different purposes. In this way, the environment can be used to offer youngsters appealing learning related experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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16 pages, 3714 KiB  
Article
Creating Competitive Opponents for Serious Games through Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment
by David Kristan, Pedro Bessa, Ricardo Costa and Carlos Vaz de Carvalho
Information 2020, 11(3), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030156 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4811
Abstract
Competition is a basic element of our society. It drives us to rise above previously perceived limitations, increases our engagement and makes the world more interesting. Competition rewards our existing skills and prompts us to identify and improve our weaker skills. In games, [...] Read more.
Competition is a basic element of our society. It drives us to rise above previously perceived limitations, increases our engagement and makes the world more interesting. Competition rewards our existing skills and prompts us to identify and improve our weaker skills. In games, player engagement is achieved, at least in part, by providing him/her with competition at the right amount of difficulty. Achieving and maintaining this exact level of challenge is one of the most difficult tasks for a game designer. The use of Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment techniques allows the game to dynamically adjust the challenge according to player performance, therefore keeping him/her always on edge, immersed and fully active. New information can then be more easily acquired, which is especially important in Serious Games. This paper describes how DDA techniques were used to create two strategic, goal-oriented computer-controlled (CC) players in order to deliver a higher level of competitiveness for the user in Transform@, a Serious Game aimed at developing entrepreneurship skills. As a result, the strength of the computer controlled player increased by more than 100%. By developing a good strategy for the AI and using DDA the game includes now a powerful opponent which has increased the engagement level of the player. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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21 pages, 2337 KiB  
Article
Teaching Software Engineering Topics Through Pedagogical Game Design Patterns: An Empirical Study
by Nuno Flores, Ana C. R. Paiva and Nuno Cruz
Information 2020, 11(3), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030153 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
Teaching software engineering in its many different forms using traditional teaching methods is difficult. Serious games can help overcome these challenges because they allow real situations to be simulated. However, the development of serious games is not easy and, although there are good [...] Read more.
Teaching software engineering in its many different forms using traditional teaching methods is difficult. Serious games can help overcome these challenges because they allow real situations to be simulated. However, the development of serious games is not easy and, although there are good practices for relating game design patterns to teaching techniques, there is no methodology to support its use in a specific context such as software engineering. This article presents a case study to validate a methodology that links the Learning and Teaching Functions (LTF) to the Game Design Patterns (PIB) in the context of Software Engineering Education. A serious game was developed from scratch using this methodology to teach software estimation (a specific topic of software engineering). An experiment was carried out to validate the effectiveness of the game by comparing the results of two different groups of students. The results indicate that the methodology can help to develop effective educational games on specific learning topics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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18 pages, 2496 KiB  
Article
Nature of Attractive Multiplayer Games: Case Study on China’s Most Popular Card Game—DouDiZhu
by Yuexian Gao, Wanxiang Li, Yuhao Xiao, Mohd Nor Akmal Khalid and Hiroyuki Iida
Information 2020, 11(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030141 - 2 Mar 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5854
Abstract
DouDiZhu, a multiplayer game with incomplete information, is the most popular card game in China. Although there are many DouDiZhu card games in the world, the specific characteristics of classical DouDiZhu card games are a harmonious combination of player numbers, player characters (landlords [...] Read more.
DouDiZhu, a multiplayer game with incomplete information, is the most popular card game in China. Although there are many DouDiZhu card games in the world, the specific characteristics of classical DouDiZhu card games are a harmonious combination of player numbers, player characters (landlords and peasants), deck numbers, and scoring systems. However, research on the complexity and attractiveness of DouDiZhu has not established. Therefore, in this paper, artificial intelligence (AI) players of different levels of DouDiZhu game were constructed for research, self-game simulation was conducted for DouDiZhu AI players, and game refinement measures were used to evaluate and identify the best Settings of the game. The results show that classical DouDiZhu provides the most complex game setup for all types of DouDiZhu AI players, while also clarifying its popularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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19 pages, 1953 KiB  
Article
Design of a 3D Platform for Immersive Neurocognitive Rehabilitation
by Danilo Avola, Luigi Cinque and Daniele Pannone
Information 2020, 11(3), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030134 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3021
Abstract
In recent years, advancements in human–computer interaction (HCI) have enabled the development of versatile immersive devices, including Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs). These devices are usually used for entertainment activities as video-gaming or augmented/virtual reality applications for tourist or learning purposes. Actually, HMDs, together with [...] Read more.
In recent years, advancements in human–computer interaction (HCI) have enabled the development of versatile immersive devices, including Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs). These devices are usually used for entertainment activities as video-gaming or augmented/virtual reality applications for tourist or learning purposes. Actually, HMDs, together with the design of ad-hoc exercises, can also be used to support rehabilitation tasks, including neurocognitive rehabilitation due to strokes, traumatic brain injuries, or brain surgeries. In this paper, a tool for immersive neurocognitive rehabilitation is presented. The tool allows therapists to create and set 3D rooms to simulate home environments in which patients can perform tasks of their everyday life (e.g., find a key, set a table, do numerical exercises). The tool allows therapists to implement the different exercises on the basis of a random mechanism by which different parameters (e.g., objects position, task complexity) can change over time, thus stimulating the problem-solving skills of patients. The latter aspect plays a key role in neurocognitive rehabilitation. Experiments obtained on 35 real patients and comparative evaluations, conducted by five therapists, of the proposed tool with respect to the traditional neurocognitive rehabilitation methods highlight remarkable results in terms of motivation, acceptance, and usability as well as recovery of lost skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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19 pages, 1194 KiB  
Article
Design of a Mobile Augmented Reality Platform with Game-Based Learning Purposes
by Maria Cristina Costa, António Manso and João Patrício
Information 2020, 11(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030127 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5830
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) is an emergent technology that overlays virtual objects into the real environment. Lately, AR is gaining prominence in education because of its increasing affordability through computers or mobile technologies. In addition, research sustaining the benefits of AR to promote student’s [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) is an emergent technology that overlays virtual objects into the real environment. Lately, AR is gaining prominence in education because of its increasing affordability through computers or mobile technologies. In addition, research sustaining the benefits of AR to promote student’s engagement to learn is increasing every day. However, the literature identifies lack of studies about the use of AR in education, namely, studies focused on the development of AR games designed over specific learning objectives (game-based learning). This paper presents a mobile augmented reality platform with learning purposes. The platform includes a mobile application that consists of a location-based game targeted to promote learning about the universe. Furthermore, it includes a back-office that allows teachers to introduce information about celestial bodies and also develop a set of multiple-choice questions to assess student’s learning about the subject matters they teach. The mobile application provides the users with physical movement and social interaction in the real world, while playing the game and for this reason it is included in the pervasive games’ paradigm. Besides engaging the students to play the game, we argue that this platform may be used as a resource to be implemented in informal and formal learning environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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11 pages, 1161 KiB  
Article
Constructive Alignment in Game Design for Learning Activities in Higher Education
by Margarida Romero and George Kalmpourtzis
Information 2020, 11(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11030126 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5601
Abstract
The Bologna process has led European universities to review quality assurance in Higher Education. Active learning, competency-based education as well as outcome-based teaching and learning have been encouraged as means to maintain quality assurance in Higher Education. The aims of this paper are [...] Read more.
The Bologna process has led European universities to review quality assurance in Higher Education. Active learning, competency-based education as well as outcome-based teaching and learning have been encouraged as means to maintain quality assurance in Higher Education. The aims of this paper are (a) to introduce the context of European Higher Education quality assurance challenges and review existing initiatives in game design in Higher Education, and (b) analyze the game design process in the Game Based Learning course of the MSc SmartEdTech program through the prism of constructive alignment. The analysis of student deliverables, in the form of Game Design Documents, shows improvement on how students approach educational game design but also points out some aspects for improvement on the course structure. The study also considers opportunities and limits of game design for learning in Higher Education in the specific context of online education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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19 pages, 50238 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of an Augmented Reality Game for Cybersecurity Awareness (CybAR)
by Hamed Alqahtani and Manolya Kavakli-Thorne
Information 2020, 11(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11020121 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 8226
Abstract
The number of damaging cyberattacks is increasing exponentially due in part to lack of user awareness of risky online practices, such as visiting unsafe websites, ignoring warning messages, and communicating with unauthenticated entities. Although research has established the role that game-based learning can [...] Read more.
The number of damaging cyberattacks is increasing exponentially due in part to lack of user awareness of risky online practices, such as visiting unsafe websites, ignoring warning messages, and communicating with unauthenticated entities. Although research has established the role that game-based learning can play in cognitive development and conceptual learning, relatively few serious mobile games have been developed to educate users about different forms of cyberattack and ways of avoiding them. This paper reports the development of an effective augmented reality (AR) game designed to increase cybersecurity awareness and knowledge in an active and entertaining way. The Cybersecurity Awareness using Augmented Reality (CybAR) game is an AR mobile application that teaches not only cybersecurity concepts, but also demonstrates the consequences of actual cybersecurity attacks through feedback. The design and evaluation of the application are described in detail. A survey was conducted to verify the effectiveness of the game received positive responses from 91 participants. The results indicate that CybAR is useful for players to develop an understanding of cybersecurity attacks and vulnerabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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20 pages, 860 KiB  
Article
Giving Teachers a Voice: A Study of Actual Game Use in the Classroom
by Triinu Jesmin and Tobias Ley
Information 2020, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11010055 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4136
Abstract
The adoption of games in the classroom has been studied from different angles, such as the readiness of teachers to use games or the barriers encountered. However, actual classroom practices with regard to the use of games have not been examined on a [...] Read more.
The adoption of games in the classroom has been studied from different angles, such as the readiness of teachers to use games or the barriers encountered. However, actual classroom practices with regard to the use of games have not been examined on a larger scale. With this research, we gave teachers a voice to report on their actual practices. We examined the current practices of a large sample of Estonian teachers (N = 1258, which constitutes almost 9% of the total Estonian teacher population) in primary and secondary education in 2017. We found that most of the teachers use games on a regular basis. Mainly, they use the games for motivation and alternation, but they also use them to consolidate and teach new skills. While awareness and motivation are high and experimentation on using games is widespread, practices appear fragmentary and not widely sustained. As a result of this study, we suggest the creation of an evidence base and a better integration of social support structures into teacher education. This is the first large-scale study to look into Estonian teacher’s actual practices, and although Estonian teachers have relatively high autonomy and technical skills, we believe that these results and further investigations are applicable in other contexts as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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13 pages, 348 KiB  
Article
Practical Methodology for the Design of Educational Serious Games
by Frutuoso G. M. Silva
Information 2020, 11(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11010014 - 24 Dec 2019
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 9216
Abstract
Educational serious games are primarily intended to teach about or train on a subject. However, a serious game must also be catchy for the player to want to play it multiple times and thus learn while playing. The design of educational serious games [...] Read more.
Educational serious games are primarily intended to teach about or train on a subject. However, a serious game must also be catchy for the player to want to play it multiple times and thus learn while playing. The design of educational serious games includes game experts and pedagogical experts that must be able to efficiently communicate to produce a product that is both educationally efficient and fun to play. Although there are some design frameworks to help with this communication, they are usually more conceptual and do not distinguish the fun factor from the learning contents well, making communication difficult. In this paper, a new practical methodology is presented to support the design process of this kind of digital games. This methodology is more all-encompassing because it identifies all the main steps that are needed to define the learning mechanisms in an educational serious game, from topic choice to user experience. It also separates the game’s learning contents from other mechanics used to keep the game fun to play. Finally, some practical examples are shown, illustrating the use of this methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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15 pages, 3633 KiB  
Article
Serious Game iDO: Towards Better Education in Dementia Care
by Rytis Maskeliūnas, Robertas Damaševičius, Connie Lethin, Andrius Paulauskas, Anna Esposito, Mauro Catena and Vincenzo Aschettino
Information 2019, 10(11), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10110355 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 6302
Abstract
We describe the iDO serious game developed during implementation of the Innovative Digital Training Opportunities on Dementia for Direct Care Workers (IDO) project. The project targets formal and informal caregivers of persons with dementia in order to improve caregiver knowledge and competences skills [...] Read more.
We describe the iDO serious game developed during implementation of the Innovative Digital Training Opportunities on Dementia for Direct Care Workers (IDO) project. The project targets formal and informal caregivers of persons with dementia in order to improve caregiver knowledge and competences skills with a non-traditional source of training. This paper describes the steps faced to define the iDO caregiver behavior improvement model, design of game mechanics, development of game art and game characters, and implementation of gameplay. Furthermore, it aimed to assess the direct impact of the game on caregivers (n = 48) and seniors with early signs of dementia (n = 14) in Lithuania measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS). The caregivers’ GDS scores showed a decrease in negative answers from 13.4% (pre-game survey) to 5.2% (post-game survey). The seniors’ GDS scores showed a decrease in negative answers from 24.9% (pre-game survey) to 10.9% (post-game survey). The overall DAS scores increased from 6.07 in the pre-game survey to 6.41 in the post-game survey, statistically significant for both caregivers and seniors (p < 0.001), respectively. We conclude that the game aroused positive moods and attitudes for future caregivers of persons with dementia, indicating a more relaxed status and a decreased fear in accomplishing the caring process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Gaming and Games-based Leaning)
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