Serious Games for Learning : a model and a reference architecture for efficient game development Maira Brandao Carvalho - 2016


Support : Références scientifiques
Author(s) : Maira Brandao Carvalho
Date : 2016
Lang : Lang


Digital Serious Games (SGs) are gaining increasing importance as educational and training tools. However, there is still a long way to make them widely deployed. On the one hand, balancing fun and educational elements in a SG is not trivial and requires understanding how these games can be designed to support effective and efficient learning. On the other hand, actual development can be costly and time-consuming, involving large teams of people from different backgrounds, who often do not share common vocabularies and work processes. The objective of this research is, thus, to support the design and development of digital educational SGs, by helping reduce the costs associated with SG development, while fulfilling the game’s educational and entertainment goals. For that end, both the conceptual and the technical complexities of producing educational SGs are addressed. A theoretical analysis is performed to determine how a game realizes its educational and entertainment objectives through its concrete mechanics. A conceptual model, called Activity Theory-based Model for Serious Games (ATMSG), is presented. The model aims to support a systematic and detailed representation of educational SGs, depicting the ways that game elements are connected to each other throughout the game, and how these elements contribute to the achievement of the game’s desired pedagogical goals. The ATMSG fills a gap that previous models, frameworks and methodologies for SG analysis and design do not cover, namely the understanding of how high-level game requirements, concerning both educational and entertainment goals, can be concretely satisfied in a SG, down to the game mechanics level. The ATMSG model is used as a starting point in the definition of a software reference architecture called Service-Oriented Reference Architecture for Serious Games (SORASG), based on the architectural pattern of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The architecture provides a template solution to support SG software development, defining common elements among different SGs of different genres and topics that can be incorporated in a modular fashion into game architectures. The reference architecture is evaluated in two ways: by employing the Architecture Trade-off Analysis Method (ATAM); and through the development of an example implementation, demonstrating how gameindependent services can be integrated in existing games in a relatively short time, while meeting the desired educational and entertainment goals. The results suggest that the proposed methodology and tools (i.e., ATMSG identification of components, and their implementation and integration as services) can offer a valuable solution to reduce costs and foment quality SG development.
References (2):
Djaouti, D., Alvarez, J., Jessel, J.-P., & Methel, G. (2007). Towards a classification of video games. In Proceedings of the Artificial and Ambient Intelligence convention (Artificial Societies for Ambient Intelligence) – AISB (ASAMi) 2007
Djaouti, D., Alvarez, J., Jessel, J.-P., & Rampnoux, O. (2011). Origins of serious games. In Serious games and edutainment applications (pp. 25–43). Springer. doi:10.1007/ 978-1-4471-2161-9_3  

Keywords : Serious game, Learning