Flow and Learning in Games
In the field of serious games (SG), there is a clear need for supporting pedagogical authors with methodologies and tools that can support them in providing effective learning experiences. Games offer the potential to put players into a flow state, which it is argued leads to optimal performance. As pedagogical authors are not game designers who can create flow states, this project investigates how to create an automated flow experience in games and its contribution to learning.
There were two main objectives in this project: 1) to identify the subjective flow experience and its relation with learning, and 2) to automatically identify the flow experience from physiological signals in order to enable adaptation. A game prototype for learning was created with and without an adaptive tutor system and subsequently assessed in terms of flow and learning.
We found that the two game prototypes have significantly different flow in which, surprisingly, the one with the tutor has higher flow. Furthermore, we found flow improves the perceived performance, but not the actual performance.In addition we found that flow can be distinguished from boredom and frustration using a 1-s window of brainwave signals at a moderate level. This implies the possibility of real time inferencing of the player state in a consumer context and real time difficulty adaptation.
This research project is a collaborative effort between the University of Genoa (IT) and Eindhoven University of Technology, providing reference material for a future of service oriented serious game creation.
Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (EMJD) in Interactive and Cognitive Environments (ICE)), which is funded via the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission under EMJD ICE FPA nº 2010-0012.
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