Relationship Between Game Categories and Skills Development: Contributions for Serious Game Design

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Ricardo José Baptista
António Coelho
de Carvalho,CV
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Recently, Serious Games (SG) achieved a recognized position as a learning tool in several contexts. SG provide constructive learning environments in which errors can be made without real life penalties and where students get instant feedback from their actions when facing challenges. These challenges should be in accordance with the intended learning goals and they should adapt and/or be repeated according to the learner's level. This aspect is decisive in the acquisition of knowledge, experience and professional skills through the simulation of different situations and contexts. The effectiveness of competences' training is directly related to the success in their acquisition but, above all, it is related to the ability to apply them to successfully perform a given task. However, an optimal game design methodology for competence training is yet to be created. This article presents a study that identifies the most appropriate game categories to develop specific skills and competences. It considers a taxonomy with eight game categories (Action, Strategy, Playing, Sports, Management Simulation, Adventure, Puzzle and Quiz) that were matched with the Education Competences and Educational Competency Wheel. Analysing 116 serious games allowed identifying which categories were more efficient in the training of a specific competence and therefore should be reused in the same scope.