Over the last decade, serious games have become accepted educational tools and the idea of using the great strength of modern computer games for educational purposes experienced a significant boost. From an educational perspective, computer games offer a promising approach to make learning more engaging, satisfying, and probably more effective.
However, playing experience and learning motivation are fragile assets; to be enjoyable, a computer game must be balanced well, meaning the game must match an individual player’s playing preferences, playing styles, and playing capabilities in a suitable way in order to too one-sided gameplay. An appropriate adaptation is of crucial importance in order to reach and maintain fun and enjoyment on the one hand and effective, successful learning on the other hand.
The starting point of an educationally suitable adaptation and good game-balancing is to equip the game with and understanding of the learning domain, aspects and characteristics of the player and, in particular, an understanding about what is going on in the game, for example, motivational states or learning performance. Thus, seamless user performance assessment is a major research topic. It is not a trivial to assess and interpret activity data coming from the game in an unobtrusive manner in order not to harm the gaming experience and perhaps ‘flow’ and requires intelligent technologies.
In a Joint Workshop of GALA, representing serious gaming, and LEA’S BOX, representing most trendy learning analytics approaches, at the 2014 EC-TEL conference, the attendees will Elaborate on the most promising recent and future approaches to make serious games even more educational and joyful!