EAI Endorsed Transactions on Future Intelligent Educational Environments 16(6): e5

Research Article

Westminster Serious Games Platform (wmin-SGP) a tool for real-time authoring of roleplay simulations for learning

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.27-6-2016.151524,
        author={D. Economou and I. Doumanis and F. Pedersen and P. Kathrani and M. Mentzelopoulos and V. Bouki and N. Georgalas},
        title={Westminster Serious Games Platform (wmin-SGP) a tool for real-time authoring of roleplay simulations for learning},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Future Intelligent Educational Environments},
        volume={16},
        number={6},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={FIEE},
        year={2016},
        month={6},
        keywords={Gamification, virtual reality, Octalysis framework, roleplay simulations, embodied virtual humans, learning.},
        doi={10.4108/eai.27-6-2016.151524}
    }
    
  • D. Economou
    I. Doumanis
    F. Pedersen
    P. Kathrani
    M. Mentzelopoulos
    V. Bouki
    N. Georgalas
    Year: 2016
    Westminster Serious Games Platform (wmin-SGP) a tool for real-time authoring of roleplay simulations for learning
    FIEE
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.27-6-2016.151524
D. Economou1,*, I. Doumanis2, F. Pedersen3, P. Kathrani4, M. Mentzelopoulos1, V. Bouki1, N. Georgalas4
  • 1: Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, W1W 6UW, London, UK
  • 2: CTVC Ltd, McBeath House, 310 Goswell Road, EC1V 7LW, London, UK
  • 3: Department of Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, 32/38 Wells Street, W1T 3UW, London, UK, Westminster Law School, University of Westminster, 4-12 Little Titchfield Street, W1W 7BY115,London, UK
  • 4: BT Intel Co-lab, British Telecom, Ipswich, UK
*Contact email: D.Economou@westminster.ac.uk

Abstract

The use of serious games in education and their pedagogical benefit is being widely recognized. However, effective integration of serious games in education depends on addressing two big challenges: the successful incorporation of motivation and engagement that can lead to learning; and the highly specialised skills associated with customised development to meet the required pedagogical objectives. This paper presents the Westminster Serious Games Platform (wmin-SGP) an authoring tool that allows educators/domain experts without games design and development technical skills to create bespoke roleplay simulations in three dimensional scenes featuring fully embodied virtual humans capable of verbal and non-verbal interaction with users fit for specific educational objectives. The paper presents the wmin-SGP system architecture and it evaluates its effectiveness in fulfilling its purpose via the implementation of two roleplay simulations, one for Politics and one for Law. In addition, it presents the results of two types of evaluation that address how successfully the wmin-SGP combines usability principles and game core drives based on the Octalysis gamification framework that lead to motivating games experiences. The evaluation results shows that the wmin-SGP: provides an intuitive environment and tools that support users without advanced technical skills to create in real-time bespoke roleplay simulations in advanced graphical interfaces; satisfies most of the usability principles; and provides balanced simulations based on the Octalysis framework core drives. The paper concludes with a discussion of future extension of this real time authoring tool and directions for further development of the Octalysis framework to address learning.