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More info: http://www.iminds.be/en/research/overview-projects/p/detail/g-at-s-2
"Although no one would dispute that effective educational games are complicated design undertakings, it is often overlooked that it takes more than reconciling great game design talent with the skills of designing an effective learning tool. In this presentation, we report on an interdisciplinary project on next-generation educational game platforms, i.e., the Belgian iMinds-funded project Games @ School (G@S).
In recent years, commercial and academic interest in educational uses of video games has grown significantly. Due to their systematic and self-motivational nature, games are often seen as an important future aid in primary and secondary school education. Nevertheless, the development of enjoyable, challenging games and the integration with tailored, effective learning content require a complex and expensive process. This is one of the reasons why available content is currently still limited. The G@S project aimed to overcome this problem by creating a platform that supports easy creation and distribution of user-generated educational game content.
The challenges in creating such a platform are numerous, and require expertise in various domains. They include authoring, adaptive content and feedback, user and market insights, and legal and distribution issues. To succeed and innovate in these areas, the initiating project partners, game developer Larian Studios and educational publisher die Keure, composed a consortium of industrial and academic partners with complementary expertise. In the presentation, the interdisciplinary game design and research project will be described. The focus will be on how the design process benefited from this interdisciplinary collaboration and how it contributed to the state-of-the art on the best practices regarding the design, development, implementation and validation of educational games.
Examples from the G@S design and research process will be used to illustrate the innovations. For instance, in order to enable common users such as teachers to create inviting game content, the G@S project contributed to the development of a new generation of game authoring tools, with a suggestion framework for supervised and more user friendly level generation. In order to allow storage and exchange of educational game content, an open, non-proprietary data specification with powerful compression was developed. Furthermore, to achieve optimal learning combined with a satisfactory game experience, the G@S consortium invested in gathering in-depth insights into the user needs, capabilities and usage context, researching a powerful adaptive content and feedback framework as well as extensive testing of the effectiveness of the games. Finally, the distribution aspect was analysed in depth, dealing with the educational, legal and business issues that come along with the implementation of a platform for educational game content.