This paper proposes a computational modelling approach for investigating the interplay of learning and playing in serious games. A formal model is introduced that allows for studying the details of playing a serious game under diverse conditions. The dynamics of player action and motivation is based on cognitive flow theory, which is expressed in quantitative terms for this purpose. Seven extensive simulation studies involving over 100,000 iterations have demonstrated the stability of the model and its potential as a research instrument for serious gaming. The model allows researchers to deeply investigate quantitative dependencies between relevant game variables, gain deeper understanding of how people learn from games, and develop approaches to improving serious game design.
- Serious gaming
- Flow theory