Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES

Publication Details

International Journal of Game-Based Learning (2012), 2 (4) 41-60


It is widely acknowledged that digital games can provide an engaging, motivating and “fun” experience for students. However an entertaining game does not necessarily constitute a meaningful, valuable learning experience. For this reason, experts espouse the importance of underpinning serious games with a sound theoretical framework which integrates and balances theories from two fields of practice: pedagogy and game design (Kiili, 2005; Seeney & Routledge, 2009). Additionally, with the advent of sophisticated, immersive technologies, and increasing interest in the opportunities for constructivist learning offered by these technologies, concepts of fidelity and its impact on student learning and engagement, have emerged (Aldrich, 2005; Harteveld et al., 2007, 2010). This paper will explore a triadic theoretical framework for serious game design comprising play, pedagogy and fidelity. It will outline underpinning theories, review key literatures and identify challenges and issues involved in balancing these elements in the process of serious game design.