Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleBeadED Adventures: Using Tangible Game Artifacts to Assist STEM Learning
Presenter(s)Emily Johnson and Anne Sullivan
SessionInnovation in STEM Games
TimeFriday, October 12, 2:30p-3:30p
LocationMSU Room
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionThis paper describes the design principles guiding the creation of a versatile STEM education digital game, BeadED Adventures. Like Loominary (Sullivan et al., 2018) from which we draw inspiration, BeadED Adventures introduces the tangible aspect of tabletop games into a video game. BeadED Adventures is an interactive narrative where players solve STEM-based puzzles and make choices affecting the narrative plot by creating a tangible learning artifact: a string of beads that can be worn as a bracelet or used as a keychain, bookmark, etc.

The game's treatment of STEM subjects is intended to be appealing to underrepresented youth who may be uninterested in these fields due to the way they are traditionally presented and represented in American culture. Following constructivist philosophies of learning and emphasizing player autonomy, the design of BeadED Adventures followed four main goals: to be engaging, to generate tangible learning artifacts, to encourage creativity, and to foster autonomy. Future studies are planned to investigate the impact of this learning artifact as a comprehension and recall tool for the STEM concepts embedded within the game.

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