Asee peer logo

Work in Progress: Educational Effectiveness of Implicit Course Content Embedded within Commercial Video Games

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1704.1 - 22.1704.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Bruce Eric Davis Purdue University

visit author page

Bruce Davis is currently a computer graphics technology masters student with a focus in software development, and gaming.

visit author page

author page

David M. Whittinghill Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

Download Paper |


Work-in-Progress: Educational effectiveness of implicit course content embedded within commercial video gamesAs video games have become a mainstay in society, educators and software developers havetaken the opportunity to create what are known as “serious games”. One definition of seriousgames is defined as a game that is used for purposes other than mere entertainment (Susi,Johannesson, Backlund, 2007). As of today there has been much attention to research on thetopic of serious games. The difference between serious games and commercial games is that in educational games andsoftware, presentation is indiscreet; the learning material is front and center to the playerexperience, whereas in a commercial game, content the player learns may not always beexplicitly presented. “The challenge of creating serious games is to adapt game features forinstructional purposes without squeezing out what is enjoyable about games in the first place”(Heeter et al., 2003). The content in serious gaming at times breaks the flow of the player’sinteraction in order to teach the material and evaluate the player’s knowledge.This study proposes to place assessment activities within a game context in a fashion akin to theapproach used in commercial game – what the player learns is implied rather than explicit.Learning will still be required in order to master the game. This learning can be substituted foran educational topic, which can be assessed throughout the game to test the player. The playercan then be tested afterwards with traditional testing media to see if the information learned inthe game has been retained.The primary goal of this study is to examine how effective a “commercial” game can be when itis discreetly filled with educational content. In this project, topics relating to introductorycomputer science will be used as the educational subject matter.

Davis, B. E., & Whittinghill, D. M. (2011, June), Work in Progress: Educational Effectiveness of Implicit Course Content Embedded within Commercial Video Games Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18434

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015