From Global Games to Re-contextualized Games: The Design Process of TekMyst

  • Carolina Islas SedanoEmail author
  • Jan Pawlowski
  • Erkki Sutinen
  • Mikko Vinni
  • Teemu H. Laine


Designing, developing and testing a game for a specific learning context and then achieving positive results, encourages one to deploy it in other environments. We know however that it is not always possible to successfully transfer artifacts from one learning context to the next. In this chapter we explore the principles to be considered when re-contextualizing a game. We base our analysis on the transfer of a Hypercontextualized Game SciMyst (which was designed and developed for the Joensuu Science Festival) into its re-contextualized version TekMyst (for the Helsinki Museum of Technology). Employing a qualitative approach we review the requirements and design decisions at the hand of four guiding principles: (1) immerse oneself in the new learning context, (2) collaborate with locals to balance the efforts towards a common aim, (3) reconsider the design solutions to achieve the common aim and (4) be constructive and critical in your contribution.


Learning Context Game Designer Digital Game Casual Mode Game Mechanic 
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.



The authors would like to express their appreciation to the SciFest organizational team for their trust and support, and the festival’s exhibitors who allowed us to use their subject content in SciMyst. In addition we would like to express our gratitude to the personnel of The Museum of Technology in Helsinki and to Marjo Mikkola who allowed us to test TekMyst. We especially want to express our gratitude to Leenu Juurola and Riina Linna who created the content for TekMyst and who have supported us unconditionally.


  1. Alessi, S.M., Trollip, S.R.: Multimedia for Learning – Methods and Development, 3rd edn. Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, MA (2001)Google Scholar
  2. Arsenault, D.: Video game genre, evolution and innovation. Eludamos. J. Comput. Game Cul. 3(2), 149–176 (2009)Google Scholar
  3. Bada, J.K., Duveskog, M., Suhonen, J., Sutinen, E.:. Towards viable technology for HIV/AIDS education. In: Conference Proceedings/IIMC. Presented at the IST Africa, Kampala, Uganda (2009)Google Scholar
  4. Björk, S., Holopainen, J.: Patterns in Game Design, 1st edn. Charles River Media, Hinghman, MA (2004)Google Scholar
  5. Bogost, I.: Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2010)Google Scholar
  6. Botha, A., van der Berg, M., Batchelor, J., Islas Sedano, C.: Ability Through Mobility. In: Remenyi, D. (ed.) Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning, pp. 43–48. Presented at the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning, Cape Town, South Africa (2008)Google Scholar
  7. Brathwaite, B., Brenda B., Schreiber, I.: Challenges for Game Designers, 1st edn. Charles River Media a Part of Course Technology, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA (2009)Google Scholar
  8. Brown, J.S., Collins, A., Duguid, P.: Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educ. Res. 18(1), 32–42 (1989)Google Scholar
  9. Castronova, E.: Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2005)Google Scholar
  10. Clark, D., Glazer, S.: Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts. University Press of New England, NH (2004)Google Scholar
  11. Corradini, A., Mehta, M., Bernsen, N.-O., Charfuelan, M.: Animating an interactive conversational character for an educational game system. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, IUI ’05, pp. 183–190 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. Cross, N.: Designerly Ways of Knowing, 1st edn. Springer, Germany (2006)Google Scholar
  13. Fullerton, T., Swain, C., Hoffman, S.: Game Design Workshop. CMP Books, San Francisco, CA (2004)Google Scholar
  14. Gardner, H.: Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, 3rd edn. Basic Books, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  15. Gee, J.P.: What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, 1st edn. Palgrave Macmillan, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  16. Huizinga, J.: Homo Ludens. A Study of Play-Element in Culture. Beacon Press, Boston, USA (1955)Google Scholar
  17. Islas Sedano, C.I., Laine, T.H., Vinni, M., Sutinen, E.: Where is the answer?: the importance of curiosity in pervasive mobile games. In: Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Future Play, pp. 46–53. Toronto, Canada (2007)Google Scholar
  18. Islas Sedano, C., Harteveld, C., Sutinen, E.: Role of context in digital game design. Under review (2011a)Google Scholar
  19. Islas Sedano, C., Sutinen, E., Vinni, M., Laine, T.: Designing hypercontextualized games: a case study with LieksaMyst. Educ. Technol. Soc. (accepted) (2011b)Google Scholar
  20. Jormanainen, I., Korhonen, P.: Science festivals on computer science recruitment. In: Proceedings of the 10th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, pp. 72–73 (2010)Google Scholar
  21. Juurola, L.: InnoApaja: innovative learning at the museum of technology. In: Kräutler, H. (ed.) HERITAGE LEARNING MATTERS Museums and Universal Heritage, p. 356. Presented at the ICOM/CECA ’07 (Committee for Education and Cultural Action within the International Council of Museums), Vienna, Austria: Schlebrügge. (2007)Google Scholar
  22. Juurola, L.: Tekniikan museossa pelataan mobiilipeliä. Luova-verkkolehti. Luma-keskus, Helsingin yliopisto. (2008, August 30)
  23. Laine, T., Vinni, M., Islas Sedano, C., Joy, M.: On designing a pervasive mobile learning platform. ALT-J 18(1), 3–17 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Laine, T.H., Nygren, E., Sutinen, E., Islas Sedano, C., Joy, M., Blignaut, S.: Ubiquitous mathematics from South Africa to Finland: does reverse transfer work? In: Chen, I., Kidd, T. (eds.) Ubiquitous Learning: Strategies for Pedagogy, Course Design and Technology, pp. 249–282. Information Age Publishing Charlotte, NC (2011)Google Scholar
  25. Lincoln, D.Y., Guba, D.E.G.: Naturalistic Inquiry, 1st edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA (1985)Google Scholar
  26. Marco, J., Cerezo, E., Baldassarri, S., Mazzone, E., Read, J.C.: Bringing tabletop technologies to kindergarten children. In: Proceedings of the 23rd British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: Celebrating People and Technology, BCS-HCI ’09, pp. 103–111. British Computer Society, Swinton, UK. (2009)
  27. Miloš, M., Miroslav, M., Miroslav, L., Dušan, S.: Mobile educational game: adventure anywhere. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, MobileHCI ’09, pp. 66:1–66:2 (2009)Google Scholar
  28. Nuutinen, J.: Nucleus model for designing social mindtools: woven stories (Doctoral dissertation, publication in department of computer science and statistics No. 25). University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland. (2009, September 18)
  29. Pagis, D.: Toward a theory of the literary riddle. In: Hasan-Rokem, G., Shulman, D. (eds.) Untying the Knot: On Riddles and Other Enigmatic Modes, pp. 81–108. University of Oxford Press, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  30. Prensky, M.: Digital game-based learning. Comput. Entertain. 1, 21–21 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ravenscroft, A., McAlister, S.: Digital games and learning in cybespace: a dialogical approach. E-Learning 3(1), 38–51 (2006). doi:10.2304/elea.2006.3.1.37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Robson, C.: Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers, 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford (2002)Google Scholar
  33. Salen, K., Zimmerman, E.: Rules of Play. Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (2004)Google Scholar
  34. Saunders, M.N.K., Thornhill, A., Lewis, P.: Research Methods for Business Students, 5th edn. Prentice Hall, Harlow (2009)Google Scholar
  35. Schell, J.: The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, 1st ed. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA (2008)Google Scholar
  36. Rubik: (2010). Accepted 16 Mar 2011
  37. SciMyst: Accepted 17 Mar 2011
  38. TekMyst. Accepted 15 Oct 2010
  39. Volet, S.: Learning across cultures: appropriateness of knowledge transfer. Int. J. Educ. Res. 31(7), 625–643 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Volet, S.: Understanding learning and motivation in context: a multi-dimensional and multi-level cognitive-situative perspective. In: Volet, S., Jäverlä, S. (eds.) Motivation in Learning Contexts: Theoretical Advances and Methodological Implications, Advances in Learning and Instruction, 1st edn. pp. 57–82. Elsevier, London/New-York (2001)Google Scholar
  41. Willingham, D.T.: Critical thinking: why is it so hard to teach? Arts Educ. Policy Rev. 109(4), 21–29 (2008)Google Scholar
  42. Woodford, D.: Abandoning the Magic Circle. Presented at the Breaking the Magic Circle seminar, Tampere, Finland. (2007, April)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolina Islas Sedano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Pawlowski
    • 2
  • Erkki Sutinen
    • 1
  • Mikko Vinni
    • 1
  • Teemu H. Laine
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations