Learning Safety through Public Serious Games: A Study of "Prepare for Impact" on a Very Large, International Sample of Players
Authors: Chittaro L., Buttussi F.
Published in: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2020.3022340
Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in serious games (SGs), i.e. digital games for education and training. However, although the potential scalability of SGs to large player populations is often praised in the literature, available SG evaluations did not provide evidence of it because they did not study learning on large, varied, international samples in naturalistic conditions. This paper considers a SG that educates players about aircraft cabin safety. It presents the first study of learning in a SG intervention conducted in naturalistic conditions with a very large, worldwide sample, which includes 45,000 players who accepted to answer a knowledge questionnaire before and after playing the game, and more than 400,000 players whose in-game behavior was analyzed. Results show that the SG led to improvement in players’ knowledge, assessed with different metrics. Moreover, analysis of repeated play shows that participants improved their in-game safety behavior over time. We also focus on the role of making errors in the game, showing how they led to improvement in knowledge. Finally, we highlight the theoretical models, such as error-based learning and Protection Motivation Theory, that oriented the game design, and can be reused to create SGs for other domains.