Facilitating Learning in a Real Time Strategy Computer Game

Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 112)


The aim of this project was to implement a just-in-time hints help system into a real time strategy (RTS) computer game that would deliver information to the user at the time that it would be of the most benefit. The goal of this help system is to improve the user’s learning in terms of their rate of learning, retention and avoidance of stagnation. The first stage of this project was implementing a computer game to incorporate four different types of skill that the user must acquire, namely motor, perceptual, declarative knowledge and strategic. Subsequently, the just-in-time hints help system was incorporated into the game to assess the user’s knowledge and deliver hints accordingly. The final stage of the project was to test the effectiveness of this help system by conducting two phases of testing. The goal of this testing was to demonstrate an increase in the user’s assessment of the helpfulness of the system from phase one to phase two. The results of this testing showed that there was no significant difference in the user’s responses in the two phases. However, when the results were analysed with respect to several categories of hints that were identified, it became apparent that patterns in the data were beginning to emerge. The conclusions of the project were that further testing with a larger sample size would be required to provide more reliable results and that factors such as the user’s skill level and different types of goals should be taken into account.

Key words

computer games learning help system 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information Technology and Electrical EngineeringAustralia
  2. 2.Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandAustralia

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