A three-dimensional model for educational game analysis & design

Nick Degens, Ivo Bril, Eelco Braad

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For over thirty years, there has been a discussion about the effectiveness of educational games in comparison to traditional learning materials. To help further this discussion, we aim to understand ‘how educational games work’ by formalising (and visualising) the educational and motivational aspects of such games. We present a model that focuses on the relationship between three different aspects: user properties, game mechanics, and learning objectives. In two example cases, we have demonstrated how the model can be used to analyse existing games and their game/instructional design, and suggest possible improvements in both motivational and educational aspects based on the model. As such, we introduce a novel approach to analysing educational games and, by inference, a novel design process for designing more effective educational games.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventFoundations of Digital Games 2015 - Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, United States
Duration: 21 Jun 201525 Jun 2015
Conference number: 10th


ConferenceFoundations of Digital Games 2015
Abbreviated titleFDG 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPacific Grove
Internet address


  • game design
  • education
  • design research
  • model-driven approaches


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