Serious Games Research

If it does not challenge you, it will not change you.

Serious Games Analytics

The reason why serious games is so attractive is because the potential in the uncurated data collated. Taken from Dirk Ifenthaler, Yanyang Sheng and Christian Sebastian Loh’s book entitled Serious Games Analytics: (for more details, log in to

“Serious Games” is a unique industry that is concerned with the training/learning performance assessment of its clients. It is one of three digital technology industries (along with digital games, and online learning) that are rapidly advancing into the arena of analytics. The analytics from these industries all came from the tracing of user-generated data as they interacted with the systems, but differed from one another in the primary purposes for such analytics. For example, the purpose of game analytics is to support the growth of digital (entertainment) games, while that of learning analytics is to support the online learning industries. Although some game and learning analytics can indeed be used in serious games, they lack specific metrics and methods that outline the effectiveness of serious games—an important feature to stakeholders. Serious Games Analytics need to provide (actionable) insights that are of values to the stakeholders—specific strategies/policies to improve the serious games, and to (re)train or remediate play-learners for performance improvement. Since the performance metrics from one industry are unlikely to transfer well into another industry, those that are optimal for use in the Serious Games industry must be properly identified as Serious Games Analytics—to properly measure, assess, and improve performance with serious games.

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Game-Based Assessment

To fully understand game-based learning, one has to comprehend game-based assessment. Taken from Thomas Heinzen (2014) paper entitled Game-Based Assessment: Two Practical Justifications.

“Game-based assessment (GBA) is the application of principles of game design to measure performance when people are striving to perform at their best. Two simple but counterintuitive justifications suggest that GBA is a promising approach to assessment. First, people love to be assessed; they just don’t like the ways that we have been doing it. Game designs can take advantage of our impulse to make social comparisons to help motivate performance during assessment. Second, going to college is already a game. It has many of the features of a game such as points, a goal state, levels, awards, and leaderboards. Consequently, creating game-based assessments is an emerging skill set that needs a great deal of psychometric development as well as the knowledge and sensibilities of game designers.”

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