Gaming Learning Analytics: Contributing to the Serious Games Ecosystem
Video games have become one of the largest entertainment industries. However, their use to improve education, commonly referred to as serious games (SG), is still not a mature industry. Serious games face different challenges when brought into the classroom, ranging from pragmatic issues (e.g. a high development cost) to deeper educational issues, including a lack of understanding of how the students interact with the games and how the learning process actually occurs. In this talk, we will address these issues and describe how we consider that Gaming Learning Analytics (GLA) can contribute to the maturity of the SG ecosystem and to the applicability of SG in different domains. In this presentation we will present some of the results of two large H2020 SG projects: RAGE (Realising an Applied Gaming Eco-system, www.rageproject.eu) that aims to develop, transform and enrich advanced technologies from the leisure games industry into self-contained gaming assets that help game studios to develop applied games easier, faster and more cost-effectively, and BEACONING (Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualised, Pervasive and Gameful Learning, www.beaconing.eu) that focus on ‘anytime anywhere’ learning by exploiting pervasive, context-aware and gamified techniques and technologies, framed under the Problem-Based Learning approach.
Hunting the mythical joint exploitation beast
Over the past years universities and businesses are increasingly working together. Largely as a result of explicit requirements from funding bodies before the cash is handed over. As a result there is an explosion of ‘PDF’ documents with titles such as ‘Joint Exploitation Strategy’ and ‘Project Business Plan’ being produced by researchers and businesses involved in publicly funded projects adorned with buzzword terminologies as ‘emergent commercialisations’ and ‘new business models’ for applied and serious games.
Like a treasure map to the winged unicorn spreading rainbow magic in its path, these PDF document tell a tale of how the projects will go on to become successful commercial beings, selling their wares to an ever growing base of players all too eager to learn through playing games. The cold-hard reality is that unicorns do not exist. And the best laid plans of mice and researchers pass the dreaded ‘reviews’ by funders without coming to fruition.
Do all projects need to die when the funding is done? Where does it all go wrong? And what can a university or a company do to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow once the public fund has run dry? In this no-nonsense interactive session, we highlight the most common gremlins and ogres that shatter the beautifully crafted maps to unlimited exploitation potential and how to beat them!