Neil Gannon

Project Title: Motivation through game design for serious video games and game based learning through the development of a virtual biology laboratory

Researchers: Mr Neil Gannon

Supervisors: Dr Tony McCabe, Mr Paul Powell

Abstract:

The research will examine the area of serious games with respect to learning environments. It is proposed to develop a serious computer game set in a virtual laboratory setting that will mimic that of the School of Science Biopharmaceutical laboratory and everything contained within it, from laboratory equipment to reagents.

The research is intended to explore how the practical aspects of subjects taught in Level 7 Biomedical Science and Level 8 Biotechnology programmes can be translated into a virtual environment through the use of game design principles and video game technology. The research will investigate how best to motivate the player (student) to take initiative to identify, address and achieve the learning needs outlined by HETAC and identified by IT Sligo lecturers through a single player game mode. It is envisaged that the virtual laboratory will also allow students to interact  effectively in a learning group through a multiplayer mode.

The game is being developed using the C# programming language and the Microsoft XNA Framework and development is been target at both the Windows and Xbox 360 platforms. Research will examine XNA as a serious development tool and its current place and effectiveness in the games industry and how it performs in relation to other competing technologies on offer.