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The rise of digital games over recent years has been exponential. While many are used for entertainment, digital games have also begun to permeate education — which has lead to the coining of the term ―serious games‖ .
Proponents of serious games argue that they hold enormous potential for learning , by embodying a range of pedagogical strategies. While some have adopted commercial games for use in the classroom, others have designed games specifically for educational purposes. However, designing complex and realistic serious games with limited budgets and resources is difficult. In addition, achieving a successful balance between the competing goals of teaching and entertaining is extremely challenging.
This paper describes a project undertaken at the Technological University Dublin, which involved designing a serious game to teach food safety principles to undergraduates. The design strategy and process will be outlined, paying particular attention to the theoretical underpinnings of pedagogical design and game design. Results of initial pilots will be outlined.
The paper concludes by reflecting on lessons learned during the course of this project and by suggesting implications for the development and implementation of serious games in the wider Higher Education sector. Plans for future research in the area will also be detailed.
Rooney, Pauline: Students @ play: serious games for learning in higher education. INTED 2007, International Technology, Education and Development.