How serious is serious game design? Exploring entertainment-oriented and goal-oriented gaming

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2 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


Game design is a trending multi-million business with an accompanying large body of research with almost 80.000 publications on Scopus. Based on serious games we and our students have created over the years we identified 4 different types of approaches to serious game design. In the current paper we present 4 exemplary games spanning two main game design approaches: a goal-oriented or context focused approach, and a more entertainment-oriented approach. Secondly, we looked at the technology was used in the game (e.g. either board or more oriented at computer games). Based on a structured literature search we furthermore made a selection of 7 papers on which the framework was mapped. In the seminal work we see a similar distinction in game design approaches emerging. In addition, we see opportunities for a more hybrid way of designing serious games. We see opportunities for a better mix of the goal-oriented and entertainment-oriented in order to reach a broader target audience. This paper adds a relevant view for the manner in which the field approaches the design of serious games. It allows to reflect on the merits of a more entertainment-oriented versus a more goal-oriented approach (e.g. a structured need-driven HCI approach). We postulate that this could have an impact on the way we educate and also how we can approach commercial projects.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-37-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event13th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019: Developing a game simulation model for strategic HRM - Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 13


Conference13th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2019


  • Education
  • Educational games
  • Game design
  • Serious games
  • Transformational games


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