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FDG 2013 Workshop: Games for learning

Games for learning Workshop - Foundations of Digital Games conference, May 16, 2013, Crete, Greece


So we know that people of all ages like to play. There are even attempts to formulate the concept of play theoretically and to identify why it’s so important to our lives. We can even recall that play is one of the first things we do after we are born, constituting our first man-machine interface (with toys) and one of the first social activities we engage in.

Even though playful learning is a recurrent vision in pedagogical thought, the educational system in most countries treats play as something antagonistic to learning: young students are allowed to play only during pre-defined sessions between classes and learning usually relies on formal teaching methods. This distinction was carried over, until recently, to the respective research fields in digital technologies: CS people working on games concentrated on the AI-side (how to make successful computer agents and non-player characters that play games in an unsupervised manner), while research on technology-enhanced learning looked for theoretical foundations in the most traditional learning research, missing out almost completely on concepts of engagement, playful learning and related concepts which recently emerged, such as ‘gamification’. As a result, most of the games produced for explicitly educational purposes from the collaboration of CS and TEL researchers, may have been effective with respect to their learning objectives, but they were not in the end adopted by their prospective users. In addition, game-based learning research has yet to tap into the potential of using games to cultivate creativity. While traditional media such as arts and crafts are essential to the enhancement of certain creative skills, games can be used to explore approaches to enhancing creativity that draw upon the broader digitally mediated culture: playing games requires creative skills that many students are now familiar with in terms of learning and then optimising the mechanics of a game.  

This workshop brings together researchers from the fields of games research, game AI, intelligent systems, affective computing, design, human-computer interaction and user experience with people from the fields of education, technology-enhanced learning, cognitive sciences, psychology and ergonomics in order to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences from designing, developing and evaluating learning games in terms of usability and learning effect. Design characteristics, methodology and results from five EU-funded projects (FP7 STREP Siren, ILearnRW, C2Learn, Emote and eCute) will be presented and discussed, while a discussion session after the presentations will provide the opportunity to discuss the ideas and concepts presented during the workshop.

The G4L workshop welcomes original research papers from topics including, but not restricted to:

  • Game design
  • User and group modelling for game-based learning
  • User profiling
  • From educational methodologies to game mechanics
  • Mapping graphics and design to learning objectives
  • Designing for mobile and location-based games for learning
  • Tangible and exertion games for learning
  • Gamification, reward systems, transfer to real life
  • Game AI for learning
  • User experience and affect-based adaptation
  • Group-based adaptation
  • Selecting proper content for players and player types
  • Adapting to learning performance and objectives
  • Non-player characters as tutors
  • Artificial and computational intelligence for modelling player experience
  • Technology-enhanced learning
  • Learning and motivational theories for game-based learning
  • Serious and social games
  • Game-based ‘fun’, ‘flow’ and ‘engagement’ in learning
  • Defining and promoting creativity and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking
  • UX evaluation of game-based learning
  • Outcome evaluation of game-based learning
  • Instruction via narrative/storytelling
  • Collaboration, conflict and social behaviour in games
  • Higher-level concepts
  • playful learning and creative learning
  • user engagement, attention and satisfaction
  • maximising user engagement
  • social context awareness and adaptation
  • alternate reality, augmented reality and news games
  • psychology of gaming
  • ethics and morality in player and non-player characters
  • game-based learning in the school curriculum

Workshop programme

10:20-10:40 Simon Leander Mikkelsen, Anders Hartzen and Rilla Khaled. Escape from Trelleborg – Situated Learning through Augmented Reality
10:40-11:00 Dana Ruggiero. Video Games in the Classroom: The Teacher Perspective
11:00-11:20 Panagiotis Zaharias and Ioanna Chatzeparaskevaidou. Hedonic and pragmatic qualities as predictors for motivation to learn in serious educational games
11:20-11:40 Yun-Gyung Cheong, Corrado Grappiolo, Christoffer Holmgard, Florian Berger, Rilla Khaled and Georgios N. Yannakakis. Towards Validating Game Scenarios for Teaching Conflict Resolution
11:40-12:00 Maria Saridaki, Costas Mourlas and Elina Roinioti. Engaging students with intellectual disabilities through location based games
12:00-12:40 Allan Fowler. Measuring learning and fun in video games for young children: A proposed method
12:40-14:00 Lunch break
14:00-14:20 Voravika Wattanasoontorn, Imma Boada and Mateu Sbert. LISSA: A Serious Game to learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
14:20-14:40 Iro Voulgari and Vassilis Komis. Player Characters as Devices for Supporting Learning in Massively Multiplayer Online Games
14:40-15:00 Giwrgos Evgeneiadis, Vassiliki Kouloumenta and Alexandros Potamianos. Analyzing Exploration and Exploitation Patterns in Multimodal Dialogue Games for Preschoolers
15:00-15:20 Gillian Smith, Casper Harteveld. Procedural Content Generation as an Opportunity to Foster Collaborative Mindful Learning
15:20-15:40 Discussion


Ruth Aylett,  Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland
Ana Paiva, Instituto Superior Técnico/INESC-ID, Portugal
Kostas Karpouzis, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, National Technical University of Greece
Ginevra Castellano, HCI Centre, University of Birmingham
Evangelia Dimaraki, Pavlos Koulouris, Research & Development Department, Ellinogermaniki Agogi
Costas Mourlas, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens
Yannis Skarpelos, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Media and Culture, Panteion University of Social Studies