SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3I625707
Module Leader David Moffat
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Applied Computer Games
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

This module will cover the use of game technology in the engagement of people with serious aspects of life, such as games for education, training, health and public policy. Typically, video games would score high on engagement, but low on content. More serious activities, such as education, score high on content but low on engagement. The course will introduce the latest research on the application of play technologies to the design of serious games. This will include relevant theory from psychology of motivation, well-being and learning. The staff are active in the area, to the teaching is research-led. Some of the latest developments in the field will be sampled towards the end of the module (e.g. gamification, mindset theory, analytics). For flexible learning, the module does not set prerequisites in earlier game design modules, so that students from other programs (in the games suite) can take the opportunity to develop their own design skills, and the coursework will be for interdisciplinary teams.


This module will cover the following topics: -360b7 Background -360b7 The History of Serious Games (SGs) b7 Examples of recent SGs b7 The future potential of SGs b7 Simulations, games and SGs; similarities and differences b7 Varieties of SG: sectors, forms and purposes b7 Persuasive games b7 Health / Science / Social Policy / Social Change / Judgment / Motivation / Preference / Affective Outcomes b7 SGs and need for engagement b7 SGs and play b7 Challenges of SGs b7 Design / implementation / evaluation challenges b7 Prototyping / market / industry awareness / playtesting b7 SGs and learning - game-based learning (GBL) b7 Major thinkers and influencers in the field (e.g. Gee, Prensky) b7 Relevant learning theory (e.g. Vygotsky, Bloom, Papert) b7 Declarative, procedural and strategic knowledge b7 Games and other computer-aided learning (CAL, ITS) b7 SGs and motivation b7 SDT (self-determination theory) b7 Mindset theory (principally Dweck) b7 Gamification b7 Analytics

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Examine and appraise the context specific role of Serious Games in society e.g. science, industry, education, social change2. Critically evaluate Serious Games3. Evaluate the specific design requirements of Serious Games4. Create Serious Game concepts suitable for an "indie developer"

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The module material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide Lecture-based and related study materials, along with sample solutions of Tutorial and Laboratory exercises, thus encouraging the development of independent learning and allowing self-reflective feedback on student performance. Staff-based feedback on student performance for submitted work will be provided in line with the University feedback policy, with summative feedback and grades on the coursework assessment utilising GCU Learn. The additional interactive discussion features of GCU Learn will be utilised, as appropriate to the module, to stimulate independent and flexible student learning out with scheduled class time.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books and articles: -360b7 David, M., & Chen, S (2005). Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform . Course Technology Ptr1 -360b7 Gee. J., P (2003). What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy . Palgrave Macmillan -360b7 Prensky, M (2007). Digital Game-based Learning . Paragon House Publishers -360b7 Ritterfeld, Ute, Cody, Michael and Vorderer, Peter. 2010. Serious Games: Mechanisms and Effects . Routledge -360b7 Christian Sebastian Loh, Yanyan Sheng, Dirk Ifenthaler. (Due out in 2015). Serious Games Analytics: Methodologies for performance measurement, assessment, and improvement (Advances in Game-Based Learning) b7 Davidson, Drew et al. (2008) Beyond Fun: Serious Games and Media . Etc. Press b7 Leonard Annetta and Stephen Bronack (Ed.s) Serious Educational Game Assessment: Practical Methods and Models for Educational Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds . Sense Publishers, 2010 b7 Bogost, Ian. (2011) Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. MIT Press.

Transferrable Skills

The work in the module will build on skills for: -360b7 self-confidence and independent working -360b7 critical thinking and analysis -360b7 research and scholarship b7 creativity b7 self-confidence and independent working b7 entrepreneurship b7 commercial awareness b7 appreciating the need for continuing professional development b7 interpersonal skills, team-working, leadership b7 communication (written, oral and listening) -360b7 presentation skills b7 some awareness of strengths, weaknesses and learning style

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 30.00 35% Practical Work
Coursework 1 n/a 70.00 35% Report (3000 words)