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Multiplayer Adventures for Collaborative Learning With Serious Games

Key:RWGS12
Author:Christian Reuter, Viktor Wendel, Stefan Göbel, Ralf Steinmetz
Date:October 2012
Kind:In proceedings - use for conference & workshop papers
Publisher:Academic Conferences Limited
Book title:Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Editor:Felicia, Patrick
Pages:416-423
ISBN:978-1-908272-69-0
Language:English
Keywords:serious games, multiplayer games, adventure games, game-based learning, collaborative learning
Number of characters:33428
Research Area(s):Serious Games
Abstract:The concept of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) has been researched for many years with CSCL being an interesting alternative to traditional collaborative learning scenarios, today. In recent years, a multitude of game-based learning applications and Serious Games have been created for various fields of application, like learning, training, sports and health. However, only very few of these games support multiple players and can be used for collaborative learning as well as for training social skills like communication and teamwork. Especially in the adventure game genre which is traditionally used for learning games, there are hardly any concepts, and even less implementations of multiplayer modes. Since adventure games offer a way to present learning content in a structured and guided way, a combination of their properties with the advantage of multiplayer games seems promising. Therefore we present an approach for designing and authoring multiplayer adventures for collaborative learning. We derived requirements for puzzle design from literature covering singleplayer adventures and multiplayer games in general. These requirements were used to describe different types of player separation as a basic concept for puzzle design. Furthermore, interfaces for explicit and implicit communication as an important factor for collaboration and the concept of adaptivity were discussed in this context. We implemented our concepts as extensions to the StoryTec authoring environment and the StoryPlay player. Thus, non-programmer authors are able to create multiplayer adventures using StoryTec. Based on this platform we then designed and implemented a prototypical multiplayer adventure. This game was evaluated in a user-centred study focusing on the collaborative gaming and puzzles elements. Another study focused on the usability of the authoring environment. Our studies have shown that players were able to play collaboratively in our multiplayer adventure, working together and solving puzzles as a team. The Players enjoyed the idea of playing collaboratively in a multiplayer adventure. We therefore believe that our approach may build the ground for further research in collaborative adventures.
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