From Game Characteristics to Effective Learning Games

Evaluation of a Component-Based Quiz Game
  • Philip MildnerEmail author
  • Nicolas Stamer
  • Wolfgang Effelsberg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9090)


When developing learning games, emphasis should not only be put on a good integration of the learning content, but also on an engaging game design, in order to create learning tools that both train and motivate. In this paper, we examine the influence of specific game elements to both factors. Therefore, we first analyze models for the characterization of game elements. We then apply an adapted model to the design of a component-based learning game based on a quiz. Various game elements can be added to the game dynamically. This includes, among others, different forms of presentation, challenge, competition and constraints. Using this application we performed a user study to evaluate which game elements are most effective in delivering knowledge as well as in fostering motivation. Results show that a combination of game elements is suited best for influencing both factors positively.


Video Game Technology Acceptance Model Learning Content Presentation Mode Game Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mildner, P., Campbell, C., Effelsberg, W.: Word domination: bringing together fun and education in an authoring-based 3D shooter game. In: Göbel, S., Wiemeyer, J. (eds.) GameDays 2014. LNCS, vol. 8395, pp. 59–70. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mildner, P., John, B., Moch, A., Effelsberg, W.: Creation of custom-made serious games with user-generated learning content. In: NetGames 2014: Proceedings of the Annual Workshop on Network and Systems Support for Games (2014)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Charsky, D.: From edutainment to serious games: A change in the use of game characteristics. Games and Culture 5(2), 177–198 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hunicke, R., LeBlanc, M., Zubek, R.: MDA: a formal approach to game design and game research. In: Workshop on Challenges in Game AI (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sweetser, P., Wyeth, P.: GameFlow: A Model for Evaluating Player Enjoyment in Games. Computers in Entertainment 3(3), July 2005Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Csikszentmihalyi, M.: Flow: the psychology of optimal experience, vol.1, p. 991. Harper Collins (1990)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cowley, B., Charles, D., Black, M., Hickey, R.: Toward an understanding of flow in video games. Computers in Entertainment 6(2), 20:1–20:27 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mitgutsch, K., Alvarado, N.: Purposeful by design? a serious game design assessment framework. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games - FDG 2012, pp. 121–128. ACM Press (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., Nacke, L.: From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification.” In: Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments, pp. 9–15. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Songer, R.W., Miyata, K.: A playful affordances model for gameful learning. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality - TEEM 2014, pp. 205–213. ACM Press (2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lucero, A., Karapanos, E., Arrasvuori, J., Korhonen, H.: Playful or Gameful?: Creating Delightful User Experiences. Interactions 21(3), 34–39 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Plass, J.L., O’Keefe, P.A., Homer, B.D., Case, J., Hayward, E.O., Stein, M., Perlin, K.: The Impact of Individual, Competitive, and Collaborative Mathematics Game Play on Learning, Performance, and Motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology 105(4), 1050–1066 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lomas, D., Patel, K., Forlizzi, J.L., Koedinger, K.R.: Optimizing challenge in an educational game using large-scale design experiments. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2013, pp. 89–98. ACM Press (2013)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Abuhamdeh, S., Csikszentmihalyi, M.: The Importance of Challenge for the Enjoyment of Intrinsically Motivated, Goal-Directed Activities. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 38(3), 317–330 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hardy, S., Kern, A., Dutz, T., Weber, C., Göbel, S., Steinmetz, R.: What makes games challenging? - considerations on how to determine the “challenge” posed by an exergame for balance training. In: Proc. of the 2014 ACM International Workshop on Serious Games - SeriousGames 2014, pp. 57–62. ACM Press (2014)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Malone, T.W.: Toward a theory of intrinsically motivating instruction. Cognitive Science 5(4), 333–369 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Prensky, M.: Digital Game-Based Learning. McGraw Hill Book Co (2007)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Malone, T.W., Lepper, M.R.: Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. Aptitude, Learning, and Instruction 3, 223–253 (1987)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schell, J.: The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses. Taylor & Francis US (2008)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Davis, F.: A technology acceptance model for empirically testing new end-user information systems: Theory and results. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1986)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dewey, J.: Democracy and education. Courier Dover Publications (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Mildner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicolas Stamer
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Effelsberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MannheimMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations