Applying Pedagogy during Game Development to Enhance Game-Based Learning

  • Atsusi HirumiEmail author
  • Christopher Stapleton


“Serious games” are emerging as an important outgrowth of the video gaming industry. Entertaining games, such as Flight Simulator and SimCity, are already in use in schools and universities across the country, and the number of serious games designed specifically for training and education is also on the rise. Advances in video game production, however, are far outpacing research on its design and effectiveness. Relatively little is still known about methods for optimizing the game design process or game-based learning.

If educators and instructional designers lead the design process, the resulting game may be neither fun, nor engaging. Games that over-emphasize educational requirements often fall short of realizing the potential of play, game, and story for creating memorable experiences. Perceived learning requirements and traditional teaching practices may be forced onto the game, undermining the dramatic flow of story and disrupting the riveting interactions of game play. The game may be built on sound pedagogical foundations and incorporate proven educational practices, but if it is not fun or otherwise engaging, it will fail to meet the expectations of both producers and consumers. In contrast, if entertaining game designers dominate the design process, the game may fail to apply key pedagogical principles and players may leave entertained, but lack vital skills and knowledge. The importance and depth of content information and vital instructional events can be overlooked, oversimplified or trivialized while striving to uphold compelling goals of interactive entertainment. The game may distract players who may be enamored by the use of high-end graphics and animation, or by competing, scoring and winning, rather than learning.

This chapter posits a systematic process for designing serious games that integrates common instructional systems design (ISD) tasks with a game development process to optimize game-based learning.


Game Development Game Design Flight Simulator Educational Requirement Pedagogical Principle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instructional TechnologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlando
  2. 2.Media Convergence LaboratoryUniversity of Central FloridaOrlando

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