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Flight of Fancy: Exploring the Integration of Educational Content in Computer Games
AuthorBrown, Benjamin M.
AdvisorDascalu, Sergiu M.
Computer Science and Engineering
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Proper integration of educational content in educational games is key to avoiding the so called “chocolate covered broccoli” problem, also referred to as seductive detail mapping. While research has been done to suggest that tight integration of content can increase the efficacy and amount of engagement seen in educational games, many games can still be reduced to digital versions of paper and pencil drills, leading to the question of whether they can have their content better integrated into the gameplay. In this thesis I discuss details of a game that has been developed using modern software engineering practices. Notably, this game was designed in such a way that it cannot be reduced to a paper and pencil drill. The thesis also describes a research study testing the game for perceived educational efficacy and engagement among adults, and discusses the results of that study. The overall results suggest high levels of engagement with the game, but also lead to questions as to whether the educational content is too easily bypassed during the game.