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Designing A Collaborative Serious Game For Team Building Using Minecraft

Author:Viktor Wendel, Michael Gutjahr, Philipp Battenberg, Roman Ness, Sebastian Fahnenschreiber, Stefan Göbel, Ralf Steinmetz
Date:October 2013
Kind:In proceedings - use for conference & workshop papers
Address:Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal
Book title:Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Game-based Learning
Editor:Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Paula Escudeiro
Keywords:Serious Games, Collaborative Learning, Minecraft
Number of characters:31818
Research Area(s):Serious Games
Abstract:For collaborative learning scenarios to be successful many factors are necessary, like group formation, the setup of the group task, and the team members' ability and willingness to work or collaborate in a team. With easily moddable sandbox games like Minecraft being available today, new opportunities for Serious Games arise, especially in the field of multiplayer games. Due to the popularity of games like Minecraft, we believe that both acceptance and usability of mods based on such a game are rather high. In this paper, we propose an approach for a game-based solution of collaborative learning. This approach focuses on soft skills, especially communication as well as on improving both the motivation and the ability to collaborate and work in a team. We created a Minecraft mod for a collaborative gaming experience focusing on solidarity and teamwork. We designed a special obstacle course for a set of four players using especially designed game mechanics to improve collaboration skills. Communications skills are required as well as the ability to work in a team in order to win the game. Our hypothesis is that the mod can be used as a team forming and motivational tool in the context of collaborative learning by increasing the willingness to collaborate with other people by playing the game. We performed an evaluation in which seven groups of four random players (total 28 participants) played our game. Before and after the gaming session, the players played a version of the prisoners’ dilemma game in order to test their willingness to cooperate before and after playing the game. In a control group, participants worked together at solving a puzzle instead. Results show that our Minecraft mod provides a better game experience and group experience than a non-digital game with cooperative aspects. It also shows the impact of the participants’ working and social background in terms of an initial willingness to cooperate.
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