Emergent Design: Serendipity in Digital Educational Games [chapter]

Michael D. Kickmeier-Rust, Dietrich Albert
2009 Lecture Notes in Computer Science  
Using computer games for educational purposes is a fascinating idea that is getting increasingly popular amongst educators, researchers, and developers. From a technical as well as psycho-pedagogical viewpoint, today's educational games are at an early stage. Most products cannot compete with non-educational, commercial games and not with conventional educational software. Research must address fundamental challenges such as methods for convincing learning-game design or individualization of
more » ... ing experiences. An important key factor is development costs. To enter the market successfully requires reducing development costs significantly, however, without reducing gaming or learning quality. In this paper we introduce an approach of using existing methods for educational adaptation and personalization together with ideas of emergent game design. Computer games are a very successful element of the today's entertainment landscape and an integral part of everyday life. The young people, the so-called digital natives, spend a many hours on playing computer games. Thus, it is not surprising that educators developed an affinity to the idea of using computer games for educational purposes. The result is a significant hype over educational or serious games. Digital educational games (DEGs) are on their way to become a mainstream genre of educational technology. Of course, this idea is not new, educational games are as old as computer games. An early example is the game Oregon Trail released first in 1971 and re-released by the educational publisher Brøderbund for the Apple II in 1985. The game focused on teaching resource management. Today, the examples for educational games are manifold, ranging from so-called moddings (modifications of commercial, non-educational games) to games and simulations for primarily educational purposes. Also the scientific community addresses educational games for a while now, conducting research on the foundations of effective yet appealing DEGs. The reason for the hype, however, is not only the appeal of computer games to young people, computer games enable realizing elementary and essential pedagogical and didactical
doi:10.1007/978-3-642-02771-0_24 fatcat:up453hmdnrgvrkoc2v4sxyzztm