Towards an Operational Definition of Procedural Rhetoric

  • Michal ŠvarnýEmail author
  • Vít Šisler
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11899)


Identifying the features that contribute to a game’s effectiveness as a learning tool is a key task in game-based learning research. Proponents of procedural rhetoric claim that representation through rule-based systems is crucial for the effectiveness of serious games. Yet, this claim has never been thoroughly tested in empirical research. One possible way of testing the effects of procedural rhetoric is by way of value-added research. This approach has been successfully applied in studies on multimedia learning materials as well as serious games. Nevertheless, in the case of procedural rhetoric, the value-added research approach poses considerable challenges. These challenges arise from the complex relationship between procedural representation and other game elements and modes of communication. The aim of this paper is to overcome these challenges through the operationalization of procedural rhetoric. We propose an analysis procedure based on multi-modal analysis methods combined with existing game analysis frameworks. We illustrate this procedure using an example analysis of the game We Become What We Behold (2016). The proposed procedure enables both a formal comparison and analysis of the examined game modifications, something which is indispensable when designing experiments that adopt the value-added research approach.


Procedural rhetoric Operational definition Value-added research method Multi-modal analysis 



This study was supported by the European Regional Development Fund Project, “Creativity and Adaptability as Conditions for the Success of Europe in an Interrelated World” (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000734) and the Charles University Programs Progress Q15 and PRIMUS/HUM/03.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Information Science and LibrarianshipFaculty of Arts, Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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