Last week, the paper entitled “Can Serious Games Contribute to Developing and Sustaining 21st Century Skills?” by authors Margarida Romero, Mireia Usart and Michela Ott, and written in the context of the GaLA network, was published in the peer-reviewed journal “Games & Culture”. This paper aims to study whether and how Serious Games (SG) can support the development of 21st century skills, both in formal and informal education contexts; focusing on the use of SG as innovative tools that are widely recognized as having considerable potential to foster and support active learning.

The paper starts by characterizing the current need for 21st century skills and the identification of these core skills, such as communication, collaboration and creativity (Ferretti,Brami, Quero, & Fiorese, 2010).

Thereafter, it reports on a literature review of studies analyzing SG impact on the development of one or more 21st century skills; based on Charsky (2010) Game Characteristics Classification.

Finally, the authors analyze which, among the most relevant game characteristics, are those that could facilitate 21st century skills development. Results show that Complex collaboration, strategy and Tactical in SGs aret he characteristics that allow a higher development of 21st century skills among players.

This study aims to offer a multifold perspective on the use of SG to support 21st century skills development that may be helpful for both teachers and SG designers. Future research in this area should focus on the transfer of these skills from SG to the professional and personal worlds, overcoming and applying the present agreement on the usefulness of SG in supporting the development of 21st century skill frameworks (Kickmeier-Rust & Dietrich, 2012).



Charsky, D. (2010). From edutainment to serious games: A change in the use of game characteristics. Games and Culture, 5, 177–198.

Ferretti, M., Brami, R., Quero, S., & Fiorese, M. (2010). Analysis of current practices and user needs (WP2 Need analysis). (No. 2.1; pp. 1–138). Padova, Italy: CNR ISTC.

Kickmeier-Rust, M. D., & Dietrich, A. (2012). A domain model for smart 21st century skills training in game-based virtual worlds. ICALT 2012 Proceedings, 680–681. Rome, Italy


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